If you read my blog post yesterday, A time to weep, you might conclude that I am an Eeyore moping in the corner chanting, “Woe is me!” In contrast, I am actually an optimist who believes that God is at work.
Despite the dire and draining news headlines and the perception that the world and our country is going to hell in a handbasket, let me suggest several reasons why it is a time to rejoice.
From a biblical or theological perspective, we should rejoice because …
- Christ followers are commanded to “Rejoice always,” and “give thanks in all circumstances.” In fact, “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16, 18).
- God is sovereignly in control. His plan and purpose will not be stopped (Job 42:2).
- Regardless of who is in the White House, State House, Civic Center, or Palace, God is still on his throne. Those who lead in any capacity are there because God has placed or allowed them to be there. (Romans 13:1)
- Organizations like Chik-fil-A are performing acts of kindness. You don’t hear about their good deeds because they avoid the spotlight. They are living as salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16).
- The gospel is going forward and lives are being changed (Matthew 28:19-20). Missionary friends in Russia recently hosted a seminar where they introduced a new curriculum on training men. 139 people attended, 99 of them men. Those who attended committed to use the material in their churches and the community.
In my own church, First Central Bible Church of Chicopee, MA, I am thankful for …
- People committed to serving the community, from The Lord’s Pantry (food bank) and Clothing Closet (clothing ministry) to Celebrate Recovery to weeding the flower beds at the Chicopee Senior Center to those who help children in our tutoring ministry.
- A creative, energetic children’s ministry that is growing and thriving under the leadership of Robin Dolbow. There are several exciting events planned for this summer including Awana Camp and CampKidConnect.
- Godly elders who lead and shepherd our congregation.
- Generous givers who donate their finances and time.
- Being part of a group of men who meet weekly for lunch, fellowship, and prayer.
- How the church moved in unity to change our name.
- People who pray for me.
- A growing group of young families whom I have the privilege of teaching in Sunday School.
- A congregation that loves Jesus and wants to be taught the Word of God.
In my family, I am thankful for …
- A wife who loves, supports, and encourages me. We’ve been married for 35+ years.
- Three children, one son-in-law, and one soon-to-be-son-in-law who all know and love Jesus.
- Godly in-laws who model love for Jesus, commitment to marriage, and service in the church.
- Godly parents who did the same, and who are now in heaven.
Personally, I am thankful that …
- God called me to be part of his family, saved me from my sins, and is preparing a home for me in heaven.
- God called me into ministry and to the church where I serve.
- God gave me the gifts, temperament, and makeup that he chose for me. They are enough (2 Corinthians 3:5-6).
What’s on your list of things to give thanks for?