Letter from Earnest – December 2014

Earnest AlexanderRejoice always;
Pray without ceasing;
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thess 5:16-18

Can you believe this reference? And is it practical for God to ask this of us?

That’s a strange way to start off a Christmas greeting isn’t it? But after more than 40 years of faith, I have learned that some of God’s very best gifts look like tragedies. They look like broken relationships and wayward children, and to be thankful for it all almost seems absurd.  But the real Christian doesn’t just see the crucifixion; he is also watching for the resurrection.

This holiday season and everything about it is designed to help you come to know God in a more real and intimate way. These 40 some odd years of faith have taught me that suffering was designed in the plan. That is not to say that God has been sitting around trying to come up with ways to break your spirit, humiliate you and get you to cry “uncle.” But in His foreknowledge, He works with every choice we make and the choices that are inflicted on us that we have to contend with. He asks us to follow His instructions and in everything give thanks and never stop praying and rejoice always.

This is your act of faith: to praise God in spite of your circumstances. If you do what I am asking you to, you will find more to be thankful for than you ever imagined.  You will find it easier to serve, to sacrifice and to give.

Look for ways to praise God this holiday season. Give away a portion of yourself. Do something that will cost you, and do it as an act of faith in Him and what He has promised because He has said that “all things work together for good for those who love me and are the called according to {My} purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Merry Christmas! Do what you can to make it a Merry Christmas for someone else. That is your gift to Him.

Your friend,

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Earnest

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