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Bro Stef's "Watchman" Commentary
November 24, 2010
Report: In Everything Give Thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
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
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
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...
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
"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!
watch this video
and fast forward to the 10:51 mark for an encouraging message.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU
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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
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
(Peace and love in Yeshua
Publisher & Watchman
the watchman sees the sword
coming and does not blow the trumpet and the
people are not warned, and a sword comes and
takes a person from them, he is taken away in his
iniquity; but his blood I will require from the
watchman's hand.' Ezekiel 33:6
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to
one another, And the Lord listened and heard
them; So a book of remembrance was written
before Him For those who fear the Lord And
who meditate on His name. AMEN! Malachi 3:16
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