Ministry Tools Resource Center
Newsletter: November 2020

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Dear Friends,
 
I don't know about you, but I've seen a lot of memes on social media about the kind of year 2020 has been. Many of them are funny but if we aren't careful, we can let the negative thinking creep into our souls and pull us down. In the midst of a world in which Jesus said "you will have trouble" (Jn. 16:33), with all of the stress, loss, and suffering of this past year, God still says,

Rejoice ALWAYS, pray CONTINUALLY, give thanks IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thess. 5:16)

That's not to minimize the hardships of this past year, the realities of which were harder for some people than others. Yet, Jesus went on to say in John 16:33, "But take heart! I have overcome the world." Earlier in the Gospel of John we read of Jesus comforting His disciples who didn't understand Jesus' prediction of His own death. Why? Why would He leave them? He responded, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. ... And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (Jn. 14:1-3)
 
We can "give thanks in ALL circumstances" only when we look at the big picture laid out for us by a Sovereign God who deeply, deeply cares about and loves each one of us. He's preparing something so much better for us. As an old gospel chorus says, "This world is not my home I'm just a passing through."
 
Let's begin our list of that for which we are thankful for with God. His character never changes. His love endures forever. He is sovereign over all. Nothing catches Him unaware. When we interpret our circumstances through that lens, we still may not understand "why" (because we aren't God), but we can find peace and contentment knowing that He does.

Let me challenge you to step back and identify at least three things for which you are grateful, with God at the top of that list.

One of the things I'm thankful for is the Internet at a time such as this. We can stay more connected with family and friends because of today's technology. Without it, this ministry probably wouldn't exist. And, think of how much of a tool it has been for churches to continue ministry during the pandemic. God provides what we need to do His will. Let's show our gratitude by "making the most of every opportunity" (Eph. 5:16). Some thoughts on using the Internet for ministry:

Thankful for you too,

Phyllis Kline
Ministry Tools Resource Center