“In everything give thanks, for this is
God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Printable version pastoral letter 153
Dear Family in Christ,
I want to write a simple word for us all today, that we may be encouraged and challenged to be truly thankful people.
As the Apostle Paul wrote the Thessalonians, he was urging them to “rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances”, reminding them that this in fact was “God’s will for them in Christ Jesus.”
How could he urge them (and us) to be always thankful? Were there not, and are there not, endless things to rob them, and us, of reasons to be thankful? Is such an injunction not just “positive thinking”, “whistling in the rain”, “pretending”?
Not for the Apostle. Nor should it be for us.
He was a man who was always thinking from the greater to the lesser. For Him, the great issue of life had been solved. He had been saved from sin through the Lord Jesus and given the gift of Eternal Life! God’s wrath had been carried away through the sufferings of Jesus, and the very righteousness of Christ had been applied to him.
All this was by grace and guaranteed by Christ’s blood.
Here, for Paul, was the basis for a thankful heart. Here was his reason for joy in all circumstances. Here was his encouragement to pray continually and not give way to a bitter, complaining spirit.
So it is for us. Through the Lord Jesus, and His atoning death and victorious resurrection, all the big issues have been dealt with and secured.
We are Saved and Safe forever.
We have begun a journey with Jesus into eternity which will grow
ever brighter and brighter.
Now, we can approach all other issues and trials from a great, thankful place of salvation and security.
How can we be anything but thankful people when we consider the greatness of our salvation and live life in light of the Gospel? Certainly every trial, even if of the most severe nature, takes on a different hue when the light of the Gospel and of Salvation is displayed upon it.
I, for one, can forget so quickly to be thankful in and for every circumstance. But I need to remember to live in the light of my salvation. In that light, I can see that every trial is intended to press me closer to my beloved Jesus, wean me from this world as a source of joy, and fit me for the Eternity of which I am an heir.
May we be truly thankful people! Thankful for the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ; thankful for the thousands of daily mercies which the Lord sends our way; thankful for the trials which press us upon the Lord Jesus.
Make a list today of as many things that you can think of to give thanks for: Make sure you put “Salvation” at the top.