Last Sunday, my preacher preached from Psalms about being thankful. Preaching about being thankful is a pretty safe sermon. Really! Who could be bothered by being encouraged to be thankful, after all “giving thanks” gets its own holiday, a big one too! Plus it gets Friday tossed on for good measure, you have to like being thankful.
Until he grabs onto one of those Bible verses that just makes you squirm a little, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
What do you mean in all circumstances, all of them?! I am writing this as I sit in the doctors office waiting for a hip X-ray, my whole body hurts and I’m really getting tired of it.
I can attest, being thankful in all things is not easy. Not only is it not easy, it is impossible to do “in our own strength.” It is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have been reminded that I just need to keep being thankful. While I was wondering how I could ever be thankful, God gently slaps me “upside my head”. We were working with Campbellsville University on a mission trip in Belize. There were about 30 coaches and athletes that were using their love for sports and Jesus to make a huge difference in the lives of the Belizean people. I kept hearing about how people were being loved and told about Jesus. My brain then thought back to just a couple of weeks ago, when we had a girls volleyball mission trip also in Belize, oh my! Hundreds of people have been getting loved on and hearing The Gospel. The Lord only knows how many seeds were planted and watered. In the midst of all this service, there were 23 people who answered the call to become a follower of Jesus. How could I not be thankful?
In addition our Men’s Softball teams played in four tournaments recently. Our Eastern Kentucky Men’s Softball Ministry spent two days playing and ministering in prisons in Kentucky. People are hearing about Jesus everywhere.
Finally, calls keep coming in about people wanting to start their own Sports Reach team or go on a trip with us. Our 2020 schedule is packed. All I can do is thank the Lord over and over again. But, real thankfulness drives you to obedience. We just have to keep seeing what the Lord puts before us and “just do it!”
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