Giving thanks when you’re suffering seems like an idea so far-fetched nobody could take it seriously, yet that is exactly what God asks us to do.  The apostle Paul, who knew more than his share of sorrow, counseled his young apprentice Timothy to do just that:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 5:16-18, 

          Paul understood the spiritual benefit of giving thanks when you’re hurting.  It takes your focus off yourself and puts it on God.  But how, in the middle of our pain, can we possibly give thanks?

          Paul was well aware of what he could and couldn’t do, he relied heavily on the power of the Holy Spirit within him.  It’s the same with us.  Only when we stop struggling and surrender to God can we allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us.  When we become a conduit for the Spirit’s power, God helps us do impossible things, like give thanks even when we’re hurting.

          Humanly speaking, you may not see anything you can be grateful for right now.  Your circumstances are miserable, and you’re desperately praying they will change.  God hears you.  In a very real sense, though, you are focusing on the bigness of your circumstances and not on the bigness of God.  God is all-powerful.  He may allow your situation to continue, but know this: God is in control, not your circumstances.

          As you give yourself to God, he will help you through this hard time you are in now.  One of God’s goals for you is to make you totally dependent on him.  The more you depend on him and sense his support, the more you will want to give thanks.

          If there’s one thing Satan hates, it’s when YOU trust God.  Satan encourages us to trust our emotions instead.  He wants us to put our faith in fearworrydepression, and doubt. Jesus Christ encountered this many times in his own disciples.  He told them not to be afraid but to believe.  Negative emotions are so strong that they skew our judgment.  We forget it is God who is reliable, not our feelings.           That’s why, when you’re hurting, it’s wise to read the Bible.  You may not feel like it.  It may be the last thing you want to do, and it’s the last thing Satan wants you to do, but again, there’s an important reason to.

  It brings your focus away from your emotions and back onto God.

          There is power in God’s Word to fend off Satan’s attacks and power to remind you of God’s love for you.  When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus drove him off by quoting Scripture.  Our emotions can lie to us.  The Bible never does.  You don’t have to give thanks for the thing afflicting you, but you can be grateful for God’s faithful presence.  When you approach it that way, you’ll find that thanking God when you’re hurting does make perfect sense.

It has been a few weeks since we put out a request to bring food to supply the Blessing Box…….today is one of those days……when we had Prayer Time on Tuesday, I noted the Box was about depleted……there was no food inside the church.  Annie and I filled it Wednesday afternoon – but again, once that is gone – it’s gone……If a few would bring a few non-perishables we’d be “back in the race” and I know you want to bless a family in our community in this way.

It is that time of month…..on the 2nd Sunday of each month we dedicate an hour to corporate prayer……There is so much to pray about whether you think globally – nationally – or locally – it would not be hard to fill a significant time with prayer for these concerns……           

            Yes, it is a drop-in prayer time – which starts at 5:00 PM – and I hope you will acknowledge that praying for the lost – for the city – for the nation – for the sick is equal to or greater than anything that could occupy your time between 5 – 6 on Sunday evening…..

·      Lily Drage became friends with Eli Sanders of Moberly when she lived in that city.  He was her age in school.  Eli passed away last Saturday and his funeral is this Saturday morning.  Pray for Lily as well as Eli’s family in this hour of grief

·      One of our guests last Sunday asked for prayer for her friend whose initials is C.B.  This person is battling drug addiction and has asked our guest and all her friends to pray that she overcome.

·      William of our church is being seen by Doctors hoping to receive 2 knee replacements…..He is in great pain and let’s pray all involved will do their best to give him the relief he seeks.

·      Amee & Deiter have 2 families interested in their home but both say, they need some time to think before making a decision. Pray that one of the two will be the one who seeks ownership – as they have been trying to sell for 5 months

·      Bro Jerry has been going through multiple tests this week – the medical community is trying to determine where his cancer is located –

General Fund                                               $4471.50

Mission (Turning Point – Homeless)        $6.54

Psalm 27:4

         One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. 

          If you could have one thing in the entire world, what would it be? In today’s verse, David asked that he “dwell in the house of the Lord” for his entire life. 

          David wanted to live with God, gaze upon his beauty, and inquire in his temple. His son Solomon would eventually echo this longing, and ask God for wisdom more than anything else   

          Now, one of the marks of David’s seriousness is that he doesn’t just ask, he also says that he will “seek after” these things.

Examine your heart today.

          What do you want most? What are you pursuing above all else? Is it God’s presence, beauty, and wisdom?

          You see, in Jesus we have what David always wanted. We can dwell, or abide, in Jesus himself.   Through the Holy Spirit within us, we can live in the Vine and have fruit produced through our lives.

If you want to press into God like David did… Look to Jesus today.

            The Passage all D-Groups will be studying this coming week will be Luke 17:11-19….

11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”[a] And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.[b]