Thanksgiving is a special time of the year. After a very busy summer and early fall Louise and I had an opportunity to catch our breath and reflect upon one of our favorite Bible verses, “Let us come before Him with thanksgiving.” Psalm 95:2
We praise God for a wonderful family, committed friends, and faithful supporters that He has given us. You and your family have such a very special place in our hearts, our thoughts, and our lives.
Pastor Donald Barnhouse once said, “Being in ministry is like walking along a shoreline cliff on a windy day. You lean into the off-shore wind trying to keep your balance and praying that you don’t stumble or fall should there be a change in wind direction.” Over the past thirty-five years of ministry the Holy Spirit has been our guide and people like you have been an integral part of our lives and ministry.
It is humbling to realize that our God has taken a little regional ministry with a vision to help men know God and make Him known and has placed us in a position as a world leader in ministry to men. To God be all the glory!
We wanted to pause during this devotional to share a personal note of appreciation for how you have stood by us during the many challenges we have faced over the past years. Today, many doors have opened for Men’s Ministry Catalyst to develop even more resources and opportunities to impact men.
In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to be thankful. Paul was a man under constant attack by his Jewish peers for his belief in Jesus Christ, he was ship wrecked and stranded, imprisoned and beaten for his convictions. Yet, he was not “worried about anything,” but only how he could thank God for the ability to continue to serve our Lord and the many blessings God had bestowed upon him.
Paul’s words are especially significant during this time of reflection and praise. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6 (emphasis added).
The Bible speaks very strongly to the Christian about the importance of a grateful spirit. And again, we are grateful for His goodness and provisions through faithful partners like you. Your encouragement gives us strength to move forward with even more passion.
In fact, God’s Word very carefully links the spirit of gratitude with victory in the Christian life. I recently connected these two thoughts. In 2 Corinthians 2:14 we read these words: “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.”
Did you see it? Gratitude and triumph in the same verse. There is something about an attitude of gratitude that seems at home in the scenario of triumph. Friends, face your challenges with an attitude of gratitude and know that God will give you victory in your circumstances.
That same concept blazes across the biblical sky again in 1 Corinthians 15:57. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There it is! Victory and triumph in the same context with gratitude. You show me somebody who is experiencing spiritual victory, who just exudes a sense of triumph, and I can promise you, as you get to know that individual, you will find a man or woman who is permeated with a spirit of gratitude.
What are the things you’re are thankful for?
Do you have an attitude of gratitude for all that Christ has done in your life and family?
How best can you show your appreciation to others?
~James E. Grassi