Pastor Deven | The Gratitude Project | FRIDAY june 5, 2020

Summerside Family,

Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
    I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.

I am inviting you to be grateful - to be thankful.

Wait. Thankful? During a pandemic? In a time filled with financial uncertainty? With the stress of social isolation and physical distancing? With so much unknown about our future?

Yup.

As a church, our emphasis from June 1-14 is going to be gratitude and thankfulness. I want to invite you to be grateful, to reflect on God’s goodness in your life, and to take some concrete steps to help you think carefully about just how much you have for which to be grateful.  With this in mind, we have created ‘The Gratitude Project’ which you will find in this packet.  It includes some fun and engaging projects and challenges for you and your family centered around gratitude.

In the letter to the Colossians, The Apostle Paul writes,

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.    (Colossians 3:16-17)

Over and over, the bible commands believers to be grateful. Why is this? Why, of all of the emotions and feelings we encounter, is thankfulness so important? What makes thankfulness so central to the Christian life?  Because it disrupts our natural, self-focused perspective on life. It’s human nature to compare, to covet, to look at what others have and imagine that, somehow, we’re missing out. The practice of gratitude reminds us, shifts us, stirs us, to turn away from what we’re missing out on, and enjoy that which we have.

Regardless of how much you want to complain, or how dark your life looks right now, if you started making a list of all that you can be thankful for, I bet you’d be amazed. Day by day, in small ways and in big ways, we have much to be grateful for.  So, for each day from June 1-14, use your Gratitude Journal to write down one thing for which you are grateful.

But what about the exception? What if your life feels like it’s just crumbling? What if you feel no hope and your dreams are being crushed? What if you’re like Job in the bible and everything that could go wrong is wrong? Can you still be grateful? Can you still be obedient to God’s command?

Absolutely!

This is the great hope of the gospel. No matter what we walk through, what pain, hardship, health struggle, depression, fear, or dark valley through which we wade, one reality is settled. One reality remains uncompromisingly true, real, and enough to make your heart sing for all eternity.

That reality is this: Jesus Christ loves you and gave himself for you (Galatians 2:20).

Even when your life is crumbling, you can be thankful because you have received affection, attention, and mercy from the King of Kings.

Even when you feel like everyone else is getting ahead and you are stuck, you can be thankful because Jesus is working to prepare a future for you that is greater than anything you can imagine. So be grateful.

When your body fails, you can still be thankful. Jesus will resurrect you and give you new life. It won’t always be this way.

When your mental health is failing, you can still be thankful. Jesus’ love, care, and hold on you are not determined by your present state, but by his faithfulness. It won’t always be this way.

When your finances are being rocked, be thankful. Jesus is rich and you’re a co-heir with him. You have an inheritance waiting for you in heaven. You won’t always be poor!

I could go on and on. Why? Because there is no end to the good, incredible, and eternally-wonderful reality that Jesus has for those who trust him.

Be thankful.

Join us in exercising gratitude this coming month.

Pastor Deven


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