Friday, November 1, 2019


"Rejoice always, praying without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" 1Thessalonians 5:17-18.

Why are we thankful?

Of course, we thank the Lord for all that He has given to us in our daily bread. This includes, "food, drink, cloth- ing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like " [Explanation of the Fourth Petition of the Lord's Prayer]. Yes, there are many reasons to thank our Lord from whom all blessings flow!

Yet, at times, when life has its difficulties, where struggles arise, and suffering ensues, how quickly we retreat from rejoicing and giving thanks. It's easy to rejoice when things are going according to plan. It's very easy to give thanks when things are stacking up correctly. However, when circumstances go awry, how quickly we flee from our Lord. And thus, rejoicing, praying and giving thanks follow suit as they flee as well.

And I agree, life has its many and various challenges. As a Pastor, numerous they are. Even in life, constant they seem. Yet through it all, even in the times that seem to be full of darkness, the eternal light of Christ endures forever [Is40:8]. Yes, the word of God is the lamp unto our feet [Ps119] and therefore we flee, in faith, to His Holy Word. St Paul in the book of Thessalonians, reminds us of faith, rejoice, prayer and thanksgiving. All these rooted in the one who sent for us.

It is Jesus.

Yes, we may suffer and witness tragedy. Yes, we may face hardships that seem overbearingly overwhelming. Yes, we might see an insurmountable battle that is full of strife. And yes, we may tell ourselves that we have many reasons to be joyless, prayerless and thankless during this time of year. But again, in faith we flee to the One who died for us.

It is Jesus.

"But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Rm5:8
"Oh Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever" Ps107:1
"O death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" 1Cor15:55-57

It is Jesus.

We "rejoice always" because He died and rose for us. From sorrow to joy [Jn16], it is our Lord who stood in our place [2Cor5:21], shedding His body and blood, dying on the Cross and defeating the grave three days later. Through His gracious sacrifice, we are covered in the good news of great joy! Your sins are forgiven, your names written in the book of life, your salvation has rescued you from sin death and the power of devil. This is your mark of true thanksgiving.

It is Jesus.

I pray that the Lord may grant you His joy as you continue to live in the victory of Christ to which our faith depends! Have a blessed November!

✝️ Pastor Jeong

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email