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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
November 28, 2002

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV*)
This is the day the Lord has made;
     let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 (NIV*)

These are the scriptures which keep coming to me today, which is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. But if it is not Thanksgiving Day where you live, or you don't see this until a later day, this is still a message for this day for you for it is for all days.

I don't know your circumstances. You may be surrounded by loving family and friends. You may be surrounded by family, some of whom frighten you or even abuse you. You may be alone, not feeling anyone else's human love, and beset by difficult circumstances. These scriptures are for all of you in all circumstances, each day of your lives.

We may be tempted when outward circumstances seem great not to bother to thank God for them, or when outward circumstances seem very bleak to feel we have nothing for which to thank God. How wrong we are in either case! Thankfulness lies at the very heart of the Christian life. We need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude, for this will anchor our faithfulness. Regardless of outward circumstances, we are blessed by a loving God, who desires to be in relationship with us, comforting us in our sorrow, rejoicing with us in our times of joy, and always an abiding presence, loving, encouraging and guiding us. We need to live each moment in this blessing.

I pray that each of us may live each day in thankfulness for the love of God in Christ Jesus freely given to each of us, and that we may rejoice and be glad in each day. I pray that our thankfulness and rejoicing may so abound that it extends out from us, embracing each one we meet. I pray that we seek opportunities to share this to encourage someone who is finding it difficult to rejoice, whether that be someone we know well or someone we haven't met, perhaps someone alone with no loved ones around at home, in a nursing home, in a hospital, in a prison, or on the streets. I ask this in the name of our Lord, our Savior, our Teacher and our Friend, Jesus Christ, who has given so much to us and keeps on giving day after day, moment after moment.

Bill Samuel

* New International Version © International Bible Society.

©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 12:01:43 EST