I know this year has been different, and your Thanksgiving Day plans may be too, but I hope this letter finds you well. And I trust that wherever you are, you can find time to praise God this Thanksgiving season.
I preached a message recently in our sending church about why we give thanks. It was a short and simple message, but I want to share with you the bullet points of the message because God really blessed me during the preparation for it. He reminded me that even in 2020, we have so much to be thankful for.
1. I am thankful for my salvation, and I hope you are too. One day I am going to die or the rapture is going to take place and I am going to spend eternity with God. This excites me! It is why I love to tell people about Jesus.
Colossians 1:12-13, "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"
2. I am thankful for fellowship; both with God and with other believers. We have direct access to God. We do not have to go through anyone else. When we pray, God hears us.
We have the Holy Spirit in us at the point of salvation. What a blessing. I like what John 14:26 says:
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
We can see what God has said to us by reading His Word. So we can read His Word, and have the Holy Spirit teach us. I am thankful that God speaks to us this way.
I am also thankful for the fellowship that we get with the saints. As my family travels all over this country, it is amazing how we can meet people and have wonderful fellowship with them. Most of these people we have never met before. Some we don't even have much in common with. But, we both trust in and know God, so the fellowship is sweet. What a blessing it is to be around others and to get to know them.
3. God is still in control. No matter what happens today or tomorrow, my God is still on the throne and still in control. Nothing that has challenged me this year was a surprise to God.
In Proverbs 3:5-6 we read, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
I am so thankful for this truth. That even in the midst of the chaos and confusion of this world, we just need to trust God. Because He is still in control.
This Thanksgiving is going to be a challenging time for a lot of people. Some are not able to gather as in years past. I trust though, that we can all look at our lives and see how God is still blessing.
This year we have seen souls saved. We have been in churches that are growing, and on fire for the Lord. Yes, we have also seen some that are struggling. But even in that, God is working in lives.
There is so much to be thankful for this year. And I thank God for that too.
Bryan & Lisa Tanner & Family