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Nov 24, 2020

 16 Rejoice always,

17pray without ceasing,

18 give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

~ 1 Thessaloniaons 5:16-18 

Beloved,

What do we do with a year that has been fraught with turmoil and nothing seems the same—when autopilot is no longer an option and when what we’ve taken for granted no longer can be?  What is God’s will for our lives in the midst of this?  What do counselors have to say to the folks who come asking for answers in this season of uncertainty?  We teach what God has clearly revealed in his Word.  Paul clearly tells us God’s revealed will for our lives in the verses above.

God would have us always rejoicing, always praying, and always giving thanks. Always rejoicing no matter the unrest in our cities. Always praying, not just for ourselves but also for our political “enemies.” Always giving thanks for the circumstances that God, in his providence, has given us this year.  We do not have to guess at God’s will for our lives.  He has graciously told us.  Now, to be sure, knowing and by faith doing are two different things.  Indeed, in order to do any of these three actions we will need God’s empowering grace.  He will have to accomplish in us what He requires of us.  

We will have to see God in every circumstance if we would ever be able to rejoice, pray, and give thanks.  We will have to see His goodness, greatness, and wisdom.  We will have to see His purpose for us in every circumstance, namely greater conformity into the image of Jesus (cf. Rom 8:28-29).  We will have to trust, real trust—the committing-myself-to-God-in-actual-ways kind of trust—that God is using all situations for the eternal good of becoming more like Jesus.

If we do… trust God that is (praying that God would work this in us)… we can be joyful and grateful in every circumstance.  Read that again.  We can be grateful in every circumstance.  What a testimony we would have were we thankful in all situations.  

Beloved, we are grateful to God for you.  You make possible our passion—upholding the sufficiency of God’s Word in all circumstances.  As we train (108 students in the last year) and supervise (39 students in the last year, 22 have graduated so far), and counsel (43 new cases at our offices and 333 saints through our supervision students in the last year), we are eternally grateful that the Word has answers to life’s problems.

We are thankful for you. We could not do what we do without your support—intercessory and financially. As this year started, we did not know whether the Lord would lead us in another direction with the ministry, but your generosity and prayers have sustained us again for another year. We thank you. As God allows and after supporting your local church, please consider how you might help us sustain this ministry for another year—to bring the Words of life to difficult circumstances that many might be thankful in all circumstances in their lives and victors in the trial.  And may God receive all the glory (Ps. 50:15).

10,000 Blessings in the Wonderful Counselor,

Jim Fain