Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Being Thankful in Difficult Times

Are you having a rough time with Thanksgiving this year? You are not alone!  It's not "normal" to be thankful after a major flood has disrupted your life, displaced your family, destroyed or even taken away your home.  It's "normal" to be discouraged and angry.  Most of us have experienced a lot of "normal" emotions as we long for things to get back to "normal."  But there is nothing "normal" about Jesus!  He came to us, suffered our "normal" kinds of trials, in order to provide us much more than "normal."  His death and resurrection purchased an abnormal grace for us, complete with forgiveness and eternal life. And He calls us to walk in His footsteps.

My prayer for each of us this Thanksgiving is that we allow His Holy Spirit to lift us above "normal," to the place where we, with bewildered but genuine hearts, find thankfulness for the trials and setbacks, knowing that God is working in all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

We're not only called to be thankful 'in' difficult times, but 'for' difficult time. We all face trials. We all experience suffering. But for those who follow Jesus those trials have a purpose, and that suffering has a reward.

James says it this way;
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Paul says well also;
Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies... And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. (2 Corinthians 4:7&15)

And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. (Romans 8:17-18)

This year, by God's grace, you are in a position to know this passage, to understand it and experience it's truths.  Maybe you are having a rough time having a "happy" Thanksgiving.  May God bless you with an abnormally joyous Thanksgiving!

Serving Him with you,
Pastor Mickey

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