I WANT to shout out to the whole world how thankful I am to God for giving me such a beautiful generous community in which to live.
For without the generous gifts you gave to the Salvation Army during the Christmas time, we would not be able to assist those who struggle financially.
And then you have put your hands deep into your pockets and given again, donating money to assist those who have lost everything through the devastation of the bushfires.
In the scriptures (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) it tells us to “rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
When is it easiest to be thankful?
When things are going good, right?
While it might be easier to praise God when you are most happy and comfortable, it is just as important, if not more important, to thank Him in the midst of trials.
To rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances.
This can be hard to do, especially when things aren’t going well.
So why do we have to give thanks?
Why can’t we give in to cynicism and thanklessness?
Because God calls us to a life of continual thankfulness, it is His will that we give thanks.
This is not to say we need to be always smiling.
Sometimes things in life are bad and we should mourn or be upset, but it is in these moments that God asks us to thank Him anyway.
The trials in our lives are not pointless.
God has a purpose for everything, even the bad.
We might not be able to see the good, but God can see the whole picture and we can gain hope in knowing that our suffering is not in vain, but rather, part of God’s greater purpose.
Furthermore, in Colossians 3:17 it says: “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”.
No matter how we feel at any given moment, we are still in control of what we say and do, and we should use this opportunity to seek God.
Even though it is hard to see the positive in disaster, and even harder to give thanks to God for what our country is facing or finding the good in the bad and giving thanks we need to so we can begin the healing process.
There are so many awesome stories of people helping complete strangers; there is the generosity of people who are giving even though they are struggling themselves.
So I give praise to God for all of you for He is the one who blesses us with grace and salvation daily and who longs for us to praise Him in the midst of our suffering, trusting in Him and His perfect purpose for our lives.
Thank you all so much for caring for others.
The Salvation Army.