YGS 20181017

Paul writes in many of his letters, to both churches as a whole and to individuals, a section often (added in by men much later) called “Thanksgiving and prayer”. Philemon 4-7 is just one of these examples. I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. So often I read these sections of scripture and I wonder what it would have been like to be spoken so highly of by someone the church all around the world now holds to the highest (under Jesus) respect. I wonder what it was like to minister alongside Paul and to hear his lessons etc. Of course, I think about this with Jesus and His apostles too. It appears, even when Paul is going to rebuke the church for losing their way, he tries to encourage, uplift, and be thankful for the people receiving his letter. I know November is the month people like to do the 30-day Thankfulness Challenge, but I think we can be thankful year-round. I think we can be thankful for even the smallest of things. I was reminded today, even when we hurt, we can be thankful to God that we have a body to hurt and to feel emotions. God is doing great things in our lives even when we can’t always see it. There are times when I can get down because I don’t feel like things are happening the way I think they should be. The truth is, I get to thank God for working in His timing. I get to be blessed by knowing He sees the bigger picture. God is working. All the time. What might be a quiet time for you, may be a time of preparation for a time just around the corner. This week, I want to challenge you to tell someone, a different person each day, how you are thankful for them being in your life. Tell, text, call, DM – however you want to say it, SAY IT! Paul was certain to tell the readers how much he appreciated their love for Jesus and all that they do for the Kingdom of God. I challenge you to thank someone for what they do and what they mean to you. I will start by thanking you for taking the time to read this and follow up on this challenge. Peter Hunt