Pastor’s Corner: “I Thank God for You!”

Philippians 1:3-4 (NIV) – I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 

Ephesians 1:15-16 (NLT) 15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 

Colossians 1:3-4 (NIV)We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 

1 Thessalonians 1:2 (NLT)We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 

I can relate to Paul when I think about you my church family. I am thankful for you, I pray for you constantly and when I think of you, joy fills my heart! Being a pastor over last 12 years has been filled with many challenges and many great joys. I cannot remember all the challenges, but I can always remember the joys. They have names and faces.  They are you, the beautiful people God has given me the privilege and honor of serving. I am reminded of all the shining faces, smiles and joy of the many who have been baptized and the rejoicing church family who witnessed heaven’s touch on earth giving us small glimpse of heaven. There is nothing that can compare! 

But, like Paul, this road has been difficult, stretching and at times painful. But the joy and love from you and for you has carried me through. With the loss of Isaiah here on earth (great gain in heaven), I did not know if I could recover from what was broken inside to be able to continue to serve.  I considered walking away, but God had a different plan. The love of Jesus shown through you opened my eyes and heart to healing and strength I needed. Isaiah 58:11 (AMP)11 “And the Lord will continually guide you, And satisfy your soul in scorched and dry places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a well-watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.  

God has blessed us, but we may not think so if we’re measuring blessings by the barometer of health, wealth, and happiness rather than the people God has placed in our lives.  The apostle Paul was in a filthy Philippian jail, awaiting a death sentence and a be-heading when he wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Unthankful people are never happy people. They’re filled with bitterness, fear, negativism, selfishness, and self-pity. Most of all, they feel miles away from God and have difficulty experiencing His LOVE, GRACE, JOY & PEACE that is readily available to them! 

Remember what blessings we have! Psalm 68:19 (NKJV)19 Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah (stop and meditate on this). God has loaded your wagon. How often? Every day!It is of the LORD’S mercies we’re not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning…”(Lamentations 3:22-23).

Every day you wake up to blessings and they all have names and faces! 

I now understand how Paul, despite all the trials and tribulations he faced was able to continue to serve joyfully, even when facing prison and death. It was the thankfulness, joy and love of Christ for people. Be willing to open your heart to gratitude and love this year for the people God has placed in your life, no matter the circumstances! 

In His Grace, 

Pastor Hamilton