November  2018

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:18close1 Thessalonians 5:18 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (ESV) close1 Thessalonians 5:18close1 Thessalonians 5:18 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (ESV) 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (ESV) , “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” In everything… really? Be thankful in all kinds of circumstances, in bad times, in times of pain and loss, in times of sickness and death? Really in “everything” give thanks? This just sounds absurd to some. To others it sounds unreasonable or maybe somewhat irrational. None the less, Scripture tells us on more than one occasion that this is to be the “modus operandi” of Christians. James even goes so far as to say, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds (James 1:2closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST').” So… now we have to be joyful and thankful in all kinds of circumstances! Come on! Really! Neither Paul nor James is telling us that we need to love misery, that we should relish pain and suffering, or that we should be happy about tragedy. That is not the idea. And when Paul says, “In everything give thanks..” he is not suggesting that we are to be thankful for the bad things when bad things happen.

You know, personally speaking, we have been through some very dark times in our family in this past several years during my time here at FBC Buda, and the shadows of those days still linger on for me and my family. I still have those moments when the grief and sadness of not having my mom and dad with me breaks me down. What is there to be so thankful for in Cancer, in watching a loved one fade from you, and death? And on a personal level, along with this tragedy losing loved ones to the grave, dealing with death and loss of dear church-family, losing friends you’ve known for your entire life to the grave. Not to mention just the daily ups and down, the struggles, the trying to keep up, dealing with the terrible political climate of our day, the hate and violence that fills our streets. It’s hard! Isn’t it? “Thankful” is probably not always the word that comes to mind! So, what exactly is God telling me… telling us when He says in His Word, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you?” Can I share some of my thoughts with you, maybe some things I have learned that may be of a help to you?

For one thing, I am thankful no matter the circumstances that I can trust God. Being thankful in all circumstances to me is a faith step that says no matter what happens I can trust God. He loves me no matter what and always has my best interest at heart. I may not understand all that is happening and why, but I can trust Him.   Remember Paul said in Romans 8:28closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST', “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”   Another truth for me is that no matter what happens God is still God. He is still on His throne. Although I may be shaken by what happens, He is not. I am thankful for a God who is big enough to handle what I can’t and not be shaken or shattered by it. That means He is able to help me and be my Rock and Fortress in these things. As the Psalmist said in Psalm 18:2closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST', The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” And in Psalm 62:2closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'closeERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST', “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.” I’m also thankful in all circumstances for the promise of heaven and eternal life, for salvation, for peace in the midst of strife, for comfort in the midst of grief, for friends and family and the support we receive from these God given blessings, for church family… brothers and sisters in Christ that hold you up and hold you together sometimes. I’m not really wanting to change Paul’s words here when he says, “In everything give thanks…”, but I think I can say, “In everything I can find that for which to be thankful!” I love the words to a Christian song recorded a number of years ago. The song is entitled “Blessed” and it reflects so well what I feel, I am blessed, I am blessed, from when I rise up in the morning till I lay my head to rest. I feel You near me; You soothe me when I’m weary. Oh, Lord, for all the worst and all the best, I am blessed”   I am thankful for and blessed by each of you, and I love you more than you even know,

Bro. Buddy