January 5, 2020

The Shepherd's Corner


One day Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible commentator, was robbed. That evening he wrote this entry in his diary: “Let me be thankful—first, because I was never robbed before. Second, because although they took my wallet, they did not take my life. Third, because although they took my all, it was not much. And fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”

Perhaps you are smiling as you read this because his attitude reminds you of our Indonesian heritage of always trying to find something good in the midst of misfortune. I smiled when I read this, and I admired his thankful spirit that remained aflame despite the loss he had to suffer. A thankful spirit makes all the difference.

We, who like Matthew Henry, choose to be thankful are truly blessed because not only are we healthier, we are also happier. Yes, thankful spirit is the stuff that makes a cheerful spirit; the more thankful we are, the more cheerful we’ll become. God definitely wants us to be cheerful as shown by the fruit of the Spirit: joy. He knows cheerful spirit is good not only for us but also those around us. So, you see, being thankful is good and healthy—for everyone.

As we enter the New Year, may we not only be thankful to God for what He has done in the year past, but also for what He will do in the upcoming year. Let’s remember, applying today’s message, that sometimes God places sweet apples on an ugly-looking plate. Let’s not be caught up in the ugly-looking plate; instead, let’s wait for the sweet apples that God has prepared for and will bring to us. Let’s keep in mind what Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th century American poet says, “When it is dark enough, men see stars.” Whatever it is we’re facing, remember that God is not done yet. That’s the star.

Pastor Paul

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