Have you ever counted, on paper, your blessings?
"When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done." (Public Domain)
Stop right now and give thanks to God for some blessing and trial.
William Bridge (1600-1670) was called the `Puritan historian.` He studied at Cambridge for thirteen years and ministered at Essex and then Norwich, England until he was silenced, excommunicated and went to Holland to pastor the English Church in Rotterdam. Later he returned to England, frequently preaching to Parliament, until he was ejected in 1662.
Here is an excerpt from one of Bridge’s sermons:
“Thankfulness required in every condition” (preached March 23, 1645). “In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“In every thing give thanks:” in prosperity and in adversity, whether things go well or whether they go ill; in every thing give thanks. He had said before, verses 16-17, “Rejoice evermore, pray continually.” Unto those exhortations he adds no such reason as here. Because it may seem strange that a man should give thanks in every thing, he adds also, “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” So that plainly here lies this observation, or truth, upon the words: It is the will of God, even our Father, that we should be thankful to him in every thing.
But you are not only to give thanks when you are full, but when you are empty; not only when you are strong, but when you are weak; not only when you are delivered from the hands of your enemy, but when you are delivered into the hands of your enemy.
HERE AT IOC, THANKSGIVING IS AN EVERYDAY THING
We are grateful for you that make IOC to be IOC. Seventeen nations represented, great staff, VLT, leaders who labor every day with us. Because of you, we are still open and growing 12 years later! This year alone, the church has grown into a more solid united army. We are very organized and functional. Thank God the culture of laxity has been replaced with that of proactive engagement. Seven nations have been touched and seven crusades been successfully done. Cancer has been healed, people saved, delivered, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and empowered for ministry. We are current with all our financial obligations and God has granted us even more territory to reach. Praise God! Thanks to all the volunteers of the month so far: Sister Georgiana, Brother Roy Garr, Brother KC Farwell, Sister Brittney Carlson, and Sister Lorraine. Congratulations and a million thanks!
Keep counting your blessings. It will give you a better appreciation of life. I look forward to continuing being a grateful pastor for this body.
Everlastingly at it,
Senior Pastor, IOC