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Bro Stef's "Watchman" Commentary 

Report Date: November 24, 2010
Special Report: In Everything Give Thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

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Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Thanksgiving is upon us. What a great time when we stop for one day and reflect on what the Lord has done in our lives. For some God has granted financial blessings, for others they have lost jobs, others have received a new job, others have lost a loved one and for some, they've received horrible news that they're dying from a life threatening illness. The problem for me, how to be thankful when misery comes, when life doesn't go the way you had hoped, planned and prayed for. Allow me to explain. Before I do I'd like to state that I will be sharing some personal information with you, not for sympathy, but hopefully to show what God is doing in my life and maybe my story might encourage someone who reads this report.

Over the last twelve years I have suffered from some of the most mysterious physically debilitating health ailments that have interfered in my life and in ways I can't go into in this report for obvious reasons. Look at the picture to the top left of this report. I look like a reasonably healthy guy, wouldn't you agree? Looks can be deceiving. I suffer daily from chronic fatigue, acute sinus problems, dizziness, near fainting spells, migraines and I can hear my bodily functions and bones moving from within my body internally. Throw on top of this irregular heart rhythms. I can count down my own pulse because I hear my heart beating in my head 24 hours a day and as my older brother Gary has said, I've got one foot in the grave. I'm only 54 years of age. I work out three days a week and I eat a reasonably good diet. I should be the picture of health for my age group! What in the world went wrong? When I was in high school my plan wasn't to be experiencing this at age 54 when I was semi-retired.

I have gone to every doctor and specialist - I've been poked and prodded, I even went under the knife to get relief. The doctors are puzzled and so am I. Over the last twelve years I have pleaded with God to remove this from me. I have begged God to heal me. I have cried, I have laid awake at night thinking through my life and trying to find where I may have gone wrong and what I may have done to bring this suffering on myself and on my dear wife of 35 years. I have contemplated suicide ending it all. I went as far as to hold a rifle on my lap thinking how easy it would be to end it all and just put an end to the pain and the torment. Oh, I understand pain in ways that many will never experience chronic pain and suffering. Pain has become my regular companion. So, you may be asking yourself, Stef, why are you going through this for a Thanksgiving message?

Here's why...

I've known the Lord since May of 1975, that's a little over 35 years now. The video message below, I've heard hundreds of times in church. I've read many times over the years, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, but over this past weekend something clicked and I really believe in my heart, that God through His Spirit, spoke a truth to me that I'm not even sure I can put into words but I'll try. Here I go...

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. By complaining and whining, by feeling sorry for myself and wishing my life to be over, even though I might fully be justified in feeling as I do, God made clear to me this past weekend that I'm not honoring Him, and in fact, I'm living in disobedience to His will for me.

 Some of us require pressure to grow. It's like a diamond. Coal is pressurized through the years and it gives birth to a brilliant diamond. In a similar manner God allows life's circumstances to bring the necessary pressure into our lives so, if responded to correctly, through prayer, thanksgiving, praise and rejoicing we too will become like brilliant diamonds, God's diamonds that shine forever! We belong to God, our lives are not our own, we have been purchased with the precious blood of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ). If I belong to God He may, at His will, do whatever He chooses to me. If He chooses to allow me to suffer in this life, then I will praise Him and be glad. I will give thanks for the life filled with pain that I have, that God gave me and will praise Him for dying on my behalf and by His shed blood I can have the gift of eternal life, a life one day without pain and suffering! Here's a side benefit for those who suffer in this life...imagine how much your cup of joy will be when God relives you from your position here on earth and calls you home to be with Him? Our cup of joy will overflow! When we are set free from our suffering now, oh, how much better heaven will be for us.

 Think of it like God's special love gift to us. Isn't it more of a witness to those who are watching our lives to see, even though we're in pain or distress, that we pray, we give thanks and we rejoice and praise the God who brought us into this world through the family He chose for us? Yes, people are watching us and I pray they see Christ in us. The legacy we can leave behind when that glorious day comes, when we hear the call to come home, is a life that stood for the glory of God. What will people who knew you say? Will they say, this person loved God and you could see His life in them? Wow, what a testimony that would be. The only legacy worth leaving behind is a life dedicated to Yeshua, a life that is not hidden under a bushel, but one that is lit-bright on a hill for all to see, to see that Christ was the Master of that life, your love and witness for Him will compel those who knew you to give their lives over to Him! That's a legacy to be proud of.

When I consider the suffering that Yeshua our Messiah went through for all of us, His life compels me to praise the Lord in all that comes my way. Does it mean that I don't have moments where I might become depressed? No. Does it mean that I cease being human and crying over the pain and loss I suffer? No. Does it mean that I shut myself off from the world because of self pity? No. God meets me where I am, but I must find the strength, through prayer, to praise Him for all things in my life and thereby fulfilling the greatest plan God has for all of us, to be a good witnesses of Jesus Christ in this world, so that some may be saved through our love and obedience for God and through His demonstration of His power through His Holy Spirit in and through our lives.

This Thanksgiving my heart is overwhelmed with God's love for me and for you. My heart and my spirit is crying out for the love of God to be demonstrated in this world and it starts with me and my life, you and your life. This Thanksgiving I will rejoice in God, I will Praise Him and be thankful for everything He allows to come my way, whether good or bad.

No matter what your circumstances may bring or what trial you are going through, know this, God is never caught off guard and He knows your pain and sorrow. He will work this circumstance out to work for your good! All of us must hold fast to this truth. God will never forsake us, He loves us and wants the best for us no matter what the circumstance may look like. Trust in the Lord!

We all must remember this no matter where we find ourselves in life's journey, "now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
(Romans 8:27-28 NKJV)

I've always asked God, Lord what is your will for me in this life and you'd think I would have seen this sooner. Please join with me and my family this Thanksgiving season and rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us all!

lease watch this video and fast forward to the 10:51 mark for an encouraging message.


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"Many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. - Mic 4:2

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." Psalm 137:5,6

Shalom v'ahava b'Yeshua HaMashiach
(Peace and love in Yeshua The Messiah),

Bro Stef
Publisher & Watchman
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