Give thanks in all circumstances |

Give thanks in all circumstances

Pastor Jim Beilstein of Trinity Lutheran Church is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.

As you all understand, our society is going through some difficult economic times. The reality of these economic times was made evident to my wife and me as we sold our house in Bakersfield, Calif., and began looking for a house in Carson Valley. The selling of our house was not a pleasant experience because of the downturn of the housing market, and looking for a house in Carson Valley was not a pleasant experience because of the pain we saw in the eyes of those who were selling their homes.

Some of the homes we reviewed were short sales and we would hear the sad stories of the families who were forced to sell under difficult circumstances. One single woman had lived in her home for 20 years and could no longer afford to stay.

On Thursday, some in our society celebrated Thanksgiving, but is there anything for which to be thankful? Maybe we are feeling a little bit like those who were suffering through that terrible winter in 1621 which is described in “Rejoicing in Our Suffering.”

The first official Thanksgiving Day occurred as a unique holy day in 1621-in the fall of that year with lingering memories of the difficult, terrible winter they had just been through a few months before, in which scores and scores of babies and children and young people and adults had starved to death, and many of the Pilgrims had gotten to a point where they were even ready to go back to England. They had climbed into a ship and were in that harbor heading back to England, ready to give up. It was only as they saw another ship coming the other way, and on the ship there was a Frenchman named Delaware, and he came with some medical supplies and some food, that they had enough hope to go back to try to live in the midst of those adverse sufferings. And yet they came to that first Thanksgiving with the spirit of giving and of sharing.

I pray that each of you has “enough hope” to continue striving and that your hope comes from the book that God has given us.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:19 ESV

If we have this hope, which is the same hope that the Pilgrims exuded, then we too, can have the spirit of giving and sharing as we give thanks during this Thanksgiving season. As the Bible further states.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

I pray that we are all able to give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ this Thanksgiving Holiday even through these difficult economic times. May God bless you now and throughout eternity.