If I’m Honest; I Don’t Like It!!

While the big box stores have been selling trees and colorful home decorations for months already, this coming week marks for most of us the true launch of the holiday season. With covid precautions tightening down on us in every county and state in our nation, many people are metaphorically kicking sand with frustration as they drag their feet behind them into the "most wonderful time of the year." Just 7 days out from this same nation's national holiday coined for fostering spirit of gratitude, perspective, and perseverance... how many of us are actually doing the difficult work of preparing our hearts to be genuinely filled by God during difficult times? To be filled with: Thanksgiving.

I believe we can learn a valuable lesson from Philippians 4. Paul founded the church in Philippi on his second missionary journey and later wrote the letter of Philippians to the church during his imprisonment in Rome. After persecuting the early church, the converted apostle faced trials of many kinds for the cause of Christ. The theme of joy threads throughout the writing. At no time however, does he excuse the Philippian reader for "extenuating circumstances" where they don't have to have their hearts in the right place. Look what Paul writes:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." [Philippians 4:6-8]  

Can I confess something to you? I'm not sure I'm solely focused on keeping my thoughts on the things that are lovely, noble, and pure. But you know what? I figure I have a week or at least 6 more days to get myself there. Maybe you would take up the challenge to do so as well? Prepare your heart to be filled by God with genuine gratitude while enduring difficult times. To be filled with: Thanksgiving. 

Next week, at 6:30 on Thanksgiving Eve, we are scheduling a time to come together online and share with one another stories of thanksgiving, praise, and adoration for the greatness and glory of God. Please plan to join us. Thanksgiving.RandallChurch.org  

 - Pastor Milo



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