An Overflowing and a Thankful Heart.
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.1 Thessalonians 1:2
So often in this age, people face disappointment in life, and one of the most difficult things to face is disappointments in relationship. Think of how often people get their feelings hurt for real or imagined reasons or feel like their trust has been violated. Think of how many marriages end in divorce. Such hurts occur so frequently and can be so painful that people often end up entirely focusing on their hurts and disappointment and forget about all the wonderful people who have been and remain a blessing to them. Satan uses hurt, pain, and personal let downs to get people so side-tracked by what one person or small group of people did that they forget about all the good and kind things that others have done for them.
Its never a burden to continually pray and thank God for our brethren. I think of how faithfully they have given over the years. I ponder the fact that they could of often used those funds elsewhere to meet needs and desires in their own lives, yet they opted to sacrifice and to give to the work of the gospel instead of meeting their own needs. As I consider this, my heart overflows with thanksgiving for the brethren and for what they do for the work of the gospel.
And my prayer for you today is lord, I pray for them to be blessed in their families, jobs, finances, children, health, and relationship. I also pray that they will grow in their relationship with the Lord.
When the apostle Paul thought about the believers in Thessalonica, he must have felt the same way about them. They had endured such difficult times of persecution and had faced nearly unbearable pressure, yet they had never given way to fear or relinquished their stance of faith. The experience Paul and his apostolic team had enjoyed with them had been such a pleasure, and they had seized such a big part of his heart that he told them, we give thanks to God always for you making mention of you in my prayers (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
The word “we” in Greek is plural and refers to the heartfelt thanks shared by Paul, Silas, and Timothy. The Thessalonians were a great source of blessing, and it wasn’t just Paul who abounded with a sense of thanksgiving for them. Paul’s entire team was impacted and encouraged by the faith and example of the Thessalonian believers. They were all filled with thankfulness for this church.
And Paul wasn’t just occasionally thankful for them either. He said, we give thanks to God always for you, which carries the idea of every moment, every opportunity, or every time we get the opportunity. It tells us that every time the believers in Thessalonian came to Pauls mind, his heart was instantly filled with warm memories and gratitude for them. It was truly effortless for Paul to thank God for the Thessalonians.
In this day we live in, we all experience many disappointments with people, and relationships often don’t seem to last very long. People move from place to place, some break commitments and often people make wrong choices that can wrench your heart. But when you have a friend or a group of people who faithfully follow the Lord and who remain steadfast year after year, it truly is a delight. Such relationship are a special treasure from God that should be cherished and deeply appreciated.
Paul set a good example for you and me that we must follow in our own lives. He wrote and told the Thessalonians how deeply he felt about them. He cherished his relationship with this body of believers, and he wanted them to know how he felt about them.
Likewise, if we have such treasured relationship in our lives, we must take the time to express how deeply grateful we are for what these people mean to us. Don’t assume that they already know how you feel. Take the time to write them a note, call them, or take them to dinner so you can make sure they know how much you appreciate them.
Love, Pastor Cindy.
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