A word from Pastor Debbie

Don’t you think some of the hardest commands seem to be the ones that are the most clear and straightforward, like “be joyful always,” “pray without ceasing,” and this verse that is fitting for this Thanksgiving weekend, “give thanks in all circumstances”?

I find it hard because, well, there are no loopholes here; no room for excuses. We are told plain and simple that God wants our lives to be characterized by thankfulness.

To give thanks in all circumstances means that we are to have a posture of gratitude that flows out of our hearts and is seen in every area and circumstance of our lives.

Don’t you think it is just easier to be thankful during good times than during hard times? But the Word of God clearly shows us that we should be grateful during our dark days as well. Yes, that means that even in a year like this one, even in a season that has brought so much hardship and devastation, we are to give thanks. Here’s the beautiful thing, we can know that God will use the trials and sufferings we are walking though right now to strengthen us and to bring about His purposes. We tend to be a bit short sighted, only seeing the immediate circumstances, but God views not only our life now, but also our life in eternity, for which He is preparing us.

And we can be thankful because as James tells us, every good gift we have comes from God (James 1:17). Every good gift! No matter how small or how large, they are placed in your life by your good and gracious Father. Things like that beautiful sunny fall day, the comfort of a dear friend, the birth of a grandchild, our glorious salvation… all of it comes from our good and gracious God.

And yes, even in this time where our regular church worship service has been unexpectedly disrupted, we have so much to be thankful for here at CLA: for the beautiful unity that God is bringing to Life Groups, for the opportunity to spread the love of Jesus through Alpha, for the youth that are gathering to worship, for the groups that meet throughout the week to pray, for the people who are being baptized. Yes, our generous God continues to pour out His blessings.

Church, of all people, we have the most reason to be characterized by thankfulness.

We have a Saviour who took away our sins. We have a God who fights for us.

Our life has meaning in Him.

Let’s pray that God would help us be people that are characterized by deep gratitude that goes way beyond the Thanksgiving season.

Pastor Debbie Tonn

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