Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Scripture is clear: it is God's will that His people have a grateful heart.
St. Paul, by the Holy Spirit's inspiration amplifies that concept. Indeed, the apostle tells us we must be grateful for everything. That's not the kind of thing which comes easily to most of us. Indeed, to be thankful for everything we have to adopt God's way of thinking and leave our normal thought processes behind.
In short, we need the mind of Christ.
Having the mind of Christ means we need to be grateful in everything (see 1 Corinthians 2:16) and, at the same time, we need to know all things work together for good when we have been called to the Lord's purpose (see Romans 8:28).
When we are certain that all things are working for our good, we can be grateful because the Lord is using that situation, or that difficulty, to bring about something that will benefit us or those around us.
Now I understand it is very easy to be grateful when things are just working fine. But that's not what the Lord is looking for from us. He wants us to be grateful all the time. When the Holy Spirit gives us a faith which can do that, then we have the peace of God which transcends all understanding. That is when a complaining heart becomes a thankful heart. That is when believers can see the abundant life Christ has come to give us.
I had the opportunity to meet a man named Lloyd. His mother attended church for many years. Although I communed his mother at their house, Lloyd was not interested in listening to the Word of God.
Lloyd's mother passed away in 2012. It was the same year he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In the beginning of this year I received a phone call from Lloyd asking me to visit him at the hospital. I went and found him in a bad place physically.
I talked to him about God, he confessed his trespasses, and we prayed.
Two days later, Lloyd got out of the hospital. In celebration he invited me and all of his friends to dinner. At that dinner Lloyd asked me to offer up a prayer. After my prayer he gave a testimony about how the Lord had recalled and reclaimed him through the Savior's blood.
The following day Lloyd was once again hospitalized. This time he did not recover.
At his funeral I reflected on how Lloyd had showed me how to be grateful in a crisis and how the Lord had emphasized He can bring good out of bad for those who trust Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, keep me so that I am not anxious about the pains and problems of this life. With faith in my heart, teach me how to be grateful in every situation. This I ask in the Name of Your Son whose life, death and resurrection brings me a peace which transcends all human understanding. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Pastor Rene Pas Echeveria who lives in Izabal, Guatemala. With degrees in education, theology, media and psychology, he has served the Lord as a pastor and director at the Lutheran College. Based in Guatemala City since 1993, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Guatemala utilizes Project JOEL, Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), Equipping the Saints (ETS), and a young theater group, Kerigma, to spread the Gospel in this country of more than 13 million people. In Latin America, LHM's ministry is known as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones (CPTLN).
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries