How Can We Not Be Thankful
Before the close of 2004, the level 9 earthquakes in Indonesia totally destroyed many tourist resort paradises in South East Asia and turned them into hell. Tsunamis created by the quake had taken almost 200,000 lives. In 2005, several huge storms battered the United States, actually inundating the whole city of New Orleans. On top of that, there were the suicidal chain of explosions in the London public transport system; the race riots in Paris, France; incessant drumbeats of war in the Middle East; and the global avian flu pandemic etc. ¡V all speak to the worldwide absence of peace. It is also the progressing fulfillment of the signs of the end of age. When we believers see that the Lord Jesus Christ will soon return, how can we not live our days on earth vigilantly and reverentially, consider worldly sufferings to be eminently insignificant and temporary, strive for the most lofty and everlasting glory of the future, receive God¡¦s blessing through faith, and diligently proclaim and witness for this faithful and kind Lord Jesus Christ to others? Christ said in John 16:33: ¡§I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." The promise of the Lord is real. May we all experience the peace of the Lord in these turbulent times, so that we will be thankful in all things.
The things that we have to be thankful for are truly innumerable Just take the church for example. Ever since we commenced the work of church building in March of 2003, almost all tasks are finished as of the end of this year. It is hard to envision moving soon into an assembly hall of over 10,000 sq ft that totally belongs to us.
In the matter of offerings we have seen the willingly heart of the brothers and sisters to contribute. They have unreservedly submitted their all, absent selfishness and without contest. Some have even sold their own homes to free up cash for an offering; some have taken out an additional mortgage on their homes to extract funds; some have redeemed their fixed deposits or sold their mutual funds¡K They are merely holding onto an attitude of love for the Lord, thanksgiving and faith to offer back what God has bestowed. Although many of our brothers and sisters have tendered simply the two small coins that the poor widow had presented, yet God made sure that none of us are lacking because of our offerings, but instead we experience grace upon grace and abundant providence from Him. As of this date our contributions have accumulated to over $2.9M. This is beyond what we could have anticipated at the beginning. We feel that what God has provided is truly more than our eyes could see, our ears could hear, and our minds could ever think of.
In church building duties we have seen the brothers of the church building committee often hard at work. They have spent countless hours praying, attending meetings, contacting people from various relevant departments, and purchasing myriad appropriate supplies in assiduous concentration. Yet we have never heard a word of complaint from them, nor have they expressed any expectation of appreciation from anyone. The Lord has prepared everything for us. How can we not be thankful?
As for the brothers and sisters, we had all initially carried uneasy feelings, waiting to see how God would guide us, and how the church would lead us in order to compliantly follow. The submissive, dedicated, supportive in prayer, and mutually appreciative will of the brothers and sisters is truly encouraging. Whenever the church declared that work had to be done, almost everyone from young to old of both genders all chipped in wholeheartedly to accomplish it. And they still continue faithfully to discharge their duties in their service positions, keeping themselves always in the love of God, and manifesting the love of one another amidst the members. All these are blessings bestowed on us by God. How can we not be thankful?
Our Lord is truly a God full of grace. In this year we have had over 260 new visitors, of which over 30 has converted to the Lord. We also gained a newborn by the name of Naomi, who is the daughter of K.K. and Rosita Leung. Although some brothers and sisters have gotten ill, lost their jobs, or even fallen into transgression this year, yet all by the grace of God have received care and providence, and experienced the mercy of the Lord. How can we not be thankful?
We have family members who love us; fellow believers who care for us; clothing, food and lodging; eyes to see; ears to hear; lives to breath, work, walk and live; freedom to worship this Almighty God, the perfect salvation; the unchanging love of God; and the bible to refer to for life¡¦s standards, so that we may be made perfect and prepared to do all manner of good deeds. All this beauty and goodness emanate from the Father of the heavenly lights. How can we not be thankful?
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)
Conclusion: May we all be cautious; rid our spiritual lives of its garbage; be humble before God, and become a person with whom God is pleased.
By: Esther Hung