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His Steadfast Love Endures Forever


Psalm 100
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

I would like to share a story with you from a Preaching Today Audio "Instruction for Thanksgiving" by David A. Seamands.
 
During the Depression, William Stidger was in a restaurant with friends who were all talking about how terrible things were: suffering people, rich people committing suicide, joblessness. The conversation got more miserable as it went on.
 
A minister in the group interrupted. "In two or three weeks I have to preach a sermon on Thanksgiving Day," he said. "What can I say that's affirmative in a period of world depression like this?"
 
Stidger felt the Spirit of God saying to him, "Why don't you give thanks to those people who have been a blessing in your life and affirm them during this terrible time?"
 
He began to think about that. He remembered a schoolteacher who was very dear to him, a wonderful teacher of poetry and English literature who had gone out of her way to put a great love of literature and verse in him, which has affected all his writings and his preaching. So he sat down and wrote a letter to this woman, now up in years. It was only a matter of days until he got a reply in the feeble scrawl of the aged:
 
My dear Willy,
 
I can't tell you how much your note meant to me. I am in my 80s, living alone in a small room, cooking my own meals, lonely, and like the last leaf of autumn lingering behind. You'll be interested to know that I taught in school for more than fifty years, and yours is the first note of appreciation I ever received. It came on a blue, cold morning, and it cheered me as nothing has done in many years.

 
"I'm not sentimental, but I found myself weeping over that note," Stidger said. Then he thought of a kind bishop, now retired, who had recently faced the death of his wife and was all alone. This bishop had taken a lot of time giving Stidger advice and counsel and love when he first began his ministry. So he sat down and wrote the old bishop. In two days a reply came back.
 
My dear Will,
 
Your letter was so beautiful, so real, that as I sat reading it in my study, tears of gratitude fell from my eyes. Before I realized what I was doing, I rose from my chair and I called my wife's name to share it with her, forgetting she was gone. You'll never know how much your letter has warmed my spirit. I have been walking around in the glow of your letter all day long.

 
Isn't that a wonderful illustration of how important it is to share gratitude with those who have been a blessing to you! Perhaps you have had an opportunity during this global pandemic to be a blessing or to give thanks for the blessing of God and others in your life.
 
Aren't you grateful that the Lord is good and his steadfast love endures forever! How do you come into his presence? As you pray praise the Lord. Give thanks to God for his faithfulness to us and his unconditional love for us.
 
Blessings,
 
Anna