Dear Fellow Believers,
The book of Colossians is preserved for us by the wisdom and care of God. Its importance seems to grow the closer that we come to the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As far as we know, Paul never was able to visit Colossae. The group was established there by faithful believers who took seriously the call to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. This is still the call that God has placed before each of us. At the time Paul writes his letter he is wearing chains in a prison in Rome, soon to give his life as a willing offering in the service of his Master.
Most of us have never been in a situation so dangerous and uncomfortable as Paul, and yet, amid this situation he exhorts the believers in Colossae with the following words: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). Paul is challenging the hearers of his letter not to trust in their human strength or plans for success in the great conflict between good and evil. Instead, they are to be steadfast and watchful in prayer. Paul goes beyond this and adds that we should do all these things with thankfulness.
Many of us are watching the events in the world around us, especially because of the COVID pandemic, and now we must continue to choose how we are going to respond. I desire that each of us are steadfast and watchful in prayer asking that God may reveal His plans to us. We cannot afford to spend any time trusting in our own strength or in human wisdom. While there is pain, discomfort, and loss that we have experienced in the recent past, we must not lose sight of the prize that has been set before us. We have a message of hope, wholeness, and salvation that is to spread to everyone. One of the key elements necessary for us to be successful in our mission is that our efforts must be sweetened with a constant state of thankfulness.
Thankfulness does not come easily amidst the trials and tribulations of this life, but it is none-the-less a requirement for people who understand the goodness of God and the great deliverance that we are to experience at the soon advent of Jesus. With the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated by many, my hope is that we will all take some time to reflect on how much God has done for us and that we can be thankful no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in. I pray that all who encounter us will be able to sense that we experience life differently from those who have no hope and by our testimony may be attracted by the love of our Savior flowing through us.
Know that all of you throughout the Guam-Micronesia territory will be in my prayers and that I look forward to being able to see you face to face to someday soon.
Always thankful for God’s goodness,