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They had little to be thankful for, yet they worshipped with passion and gratitude.

Last week Beth and I were privileged to spend a few days with Foursquare leaders who live in a country with great poverty and difficulties. The country where they live is well known for its governmental control and religious persecution. Visiting them I expected to find sadness, defeat and grief. Yet as I spent time with these leaders, what I encountered was completely opposite.

Their gratitude and joy were contagious. Where there was not much food to eat (due to lack, most are accustomed to eating only two meals a day), there was much laughter. While there were no extensive electronics or musical instruments, worship was nonstop from early morning until late in the evening. I had been invited to teach, but I soon found myself reflecting on all that I had learned during my visit with these precious members of our church family.

As we enter a wonderful time of thanksgiving this week, I share with you some of what the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart as I was with these leaders.

  • I tend to focus on my prosperity instead of His provision. As I observed the faithfulness of these people who have so little materially, it became obvious to me that I often measure the Lord’s faithfulness to me in terms of my expectations of material abundance.
  • I so easily confuse my comfort with His Joy. My level of happiness so easily rises or falls according to emotion or gain. May I constantly invite the Holy Spirit to provide the life-changing joy and strength I need, regardless of comfort.

In the midst of those who obey sacrificially, I easily see areas where I avoid sacrifice in my own heart. May the Lord shine His light in our hearts this week as we grow in faithfulness to Him. And let us with loud voices thank the Lord for His great provision in our lives. Please also join me in praying for the many Foursquare brothers and sisters (and the larger body of Christ) who are under great persecution and lack the freedom and abundance we celebrate this week.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

By: Jonathan Hall, director of Foursquare Missions International

is the global development and international projects coordinator for Foursquare Missions International and an ordained minister in The Foursquare Church.