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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

26 October 2016: Simon Mason, Life Church Petersfield

Being Thankful

I like to use and hear two simple words: 'thank you'. Why? They demonstrate appreciation of and a relationship with the person I am thanking. It could be for something small or something larger. It could appear to be for something trivial, but our words have a powerful effect. Saying 'thank you' could make someone else's day!

As a Christian, I believe that we have much to be thankful for. That might not be easy when one thinks of the desperate situation in Syria, where civil war and terrorism have reduced everday life to rubble, and hurt, injury, death and despair appear to be everywhere. Or in Haiti, where the effects of Hurricane Matthew have brought chaos and hopelessness to an already impoverished and needy country. We might think of injustice here in the UK, of uncertainty about the future, fears of technological and ecological change, the 'unfairness' of some aspects of everyday life. Or challenging circumstances in our own lives and the lives of people we love and people all around us, in Petersfield, Hampshire and beyond. Illness, debt, hurts, grief... the list goes on.

The Bible says that we should give thanks in all circumstances. All circumstances: even when things are really tough. Thankful for the food we eat and the houses and shelter that we have, for electricity and running water, for our schools and the NHS, for those around us who care for us and love us. Thankful that we might have some spare pounds to send to relief agencies working in places like Syria and Haiti, or to help people in real need in our own country. And thankful that there is a God who truly loves us, whatever our circumstances and however messy our lives are. He is with you, always.

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