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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Living Gratefully is sometimes hard

This is the season for "Thanks" here in America, isn't it? Next week we will
be celebrating our national holiday of Thanksgiving. People will be
gathering all over the country reminding each other of all the things for
which they are thankful in their lives.

The problem with that is; that not everyone is in a thankful mood. There are
many, many people who have had to deal with tragedy and loss. They are
dealing with the loss of family members, the loss of friends, the loss of
jobs, the loss of homes, cars, and things that cannot be replaced. Some of
us despair over the condition of our county and the loss of moral values in
our government and our society in general.

Sometimes it is difficult to "Be Grateful," in general; much less live
gratefully all of the time. How do we cope? How do we not read the words of
Paul in Philippians 4:4, where he says: "Rejoice in the Lord always: and
again I say, Rejoice," and not, at times, feel resentment?

Are we wrong to feel discouraged? Are we wrong not to go around smiling and
laughing all the time? Honestly; I don't think we are wrong for having
emotions and feelings which are not always in line with rejoicing. We often
see Jesus as he is weighed down with the unbelief of the Jewish nation
sorrowing and weeping. If you are human, then sometimes you are going to
hurt.

I believe that, even though he wrote the words above, the apostle Paul
sometimes had trouble rejoicing "Always". How many times did he chastise
those who hurt the cause of Christ? How often did he warn that judgment is
coming to those who fail to hold onto their faith and serve Satan? Really,
do you think he rejoiced in doing that? I don't!

I believe that the point Paul was making is that we must never lose sight of
the promise of our hope in the future. Yes, sometimes it's difficult to
rejoice or to be thankful, but that is only until we remind ourselves that
this world is only temporary and that all loses on earth don't really matter
eternally. Our live is more than just the daily grind, pain and loss we
suffer here; it is the hope for the future in which we rejoice! When I
remember that, I honestly can rejoice always (or in all ways), because I
remember the eternal promise of God.

Russ Lawson,

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