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Thankful for Many Things

I know a man who was thrown into a dark, damp, cold, stinky prison with little to eat or drink, no one to talk to, no bathroom facilities, no cot or place to sleep, awaiting execution with no hope for a future in his remaining hours. But, you know him, too. His name was the apostle Paul. (Read 2 Cor. 11:23-27)

Yet, despite his difficulties Paul wrote a message to us from his cold, dark cell. He said that we should give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20, NLT). Remember, Paul was sentenced to death and knew he didn't have much time left when he wrote his letter to us.

Of course, many of us are suffering, too. Some are fighting cancer. Others have lost a family member through death or divorce. But, we can find things to be thankful for even in dark circumstances. Here are a few:

We are fortunate to live in a country where we still have freedom of speech and thought. Yes, that could change and is, but we still have relative freedoms.

We can certainly thank our Lord for food and clothing. Paul wrote, If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content (1 Tim. 6:8). Many of our mission residents are grateful for toothpaste, soap, shampoo and clean clothing. They know what it's like to be grateful for small things.

We can thank God for friends. Many of our shelter residents have no family members who care for them, but they are grateful for the relationships they develop at the mission.

Most of all we are thankful for our salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people around the world have no hope for a future. But, if they are Christians they can look forward to a new life in an imperishable, glorified physical body that will never die. Now that's spectacular! Don't forget that we'll be living on a renewed planet in a gorgeous city, too. (1 Cor. 15&Rev. 22)

As we celebrate the holidays this year remember to thank your Creator for the life He gave to you and a future hope. Of all peoples on earth we are the most blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving and Joyous Holidays!

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