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Grace Community International
Rev. John S. Mahon  |  Houston, Texas
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#3 of 4 - Thanking God For A Terrible Day (Week, Month, etc)
FRIDAY, JULY 03, 2015
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
As I have mentioned previously in this Blog series of Thankfulness, I am often asked, “How can I be thankful when I am having a bad day? Am I supposed to thank God for a crummy day?” The short answer to this is “Yes.” So-called, “bad days” are only bad when we are caught up in our own selfish perspective. Most so-called “bad days” are really the opportunities God is providing us to minister, despite our own reluctance to do so.

An example of this is in Acts 8:1-4 & 11:19. God had commanded the Apostles in Acts 1:8 “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." But, in Acts chapter seven, we find the majority of the Apostles and the church still huddled in Jerusalem, well within their comfort zone. God could have left them there but, in His great mercy, He sent a period of persecution to disperse them. In the midst of this persecution and what has become known as the “dispersion,” many were converted, churches were planted, the gospel spread and we received the book of James.
Acts 8:4-5 “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them.”
Acts 11:19 “So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that occurred in connection with Stephen made their way to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone.”

There is much to be thankful about, when it comes to persecution and difficulties, if we are only able to take our eyes off ourselves and keep them on Jesus.

Paul, the great missionary, recognized this. At one point in his ministry, he was beset by a serious illness. He would later look back on this with thankfulness, relating in Galatians 4:13-14 “but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.” Because of Paul’s illness, not only was a church planted in Galatia but we have the book of Galatians as well.

I have come to call these events “appointments with destiny.” I take this from
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
It is my firm belief that, irrespective of life’s circumstances, God is on the throne and He is in charge of these events. I believe we can always be thankful that, in God’s sovereignty, opportunities to share Christ and minister are coming about that, if all were at peace and ease, would never be possible. Let me share with you a few of these we have experienced over the past few weeks.

Realtor and Bible study: In all the chaos and confusion of our move, God brought about a Bible study through the realtor who is advising us.

U-Haul Storage: It is a lot of work and very disconcerting to put almost all of your possessions into storage. Yet, in the midst of this, we were able to share Christ with the movers and the managers of the storage unit. In fact, the manager had just moved to Houston and we were able to connect his family with a new church.

Health (my teeth): In the middle of all this I have had a tooth crack, another needing an extraction and a third needing a crown. In addition, we have had to change dentists, due to changes in our healthcare coverage. We were at first disappointed in this, as our dentist also attended our church and had been in a Bible study with me. God, though, brought us into a new clinic where I have been able to share Christ and distribute Bibles, Bible study aids and devotional materials to the employees.

Health (El’s knees): In the midst of Eleanor’s treatment for her arthritic knees, we have been able to testify concerning our faith in Christ, our marriage and distribute Bibles and books to employees at the clinic.

Plumber: We had a number of surprise leaks with our house during the renovations and sale. It was a blessing, though, to be able to share Christ and give out New Testaments, Four Spiritual Laws and Evidence Demands a Verdict to plumbers. One prayed with me to rededicate his marriage and he and his wife returned to church attendance.

Renovation of home: It can be trying and chaotic to have your floors torn up, counters removed and walls painted. These were all opportunities, though, to share Christ, call men to repentance and pass out Bibles, tracts and evangelistic books to workers.

Alarm system: We thought we had to remove our alarm system so a technician came out to remove them. Then they called and said, no, it was a mistake and to put them all back. During this three-hour process, I was alone in the empty house with the technician. I was able to share Christ with him, he committed to a renewed devotion to the Lord and church attendance. He also took a New Testament and committed to reading it daily with his wife.

Let me encourage you. As the sovereign God intervenes in your daily schedule and moves you out of your routine, look for opportunities to share Christ. Then, thank the Lord that He does not leave you to your own worldly devices and pursuits but trusts you with trials and difficulties--knowing you will use them to share Christ to His glory.

Let me encourage you to recognize that, with a correct response to chaos, difficulties and persecutions, comes rewards in heaven. Not everyone will have these rewards but those who respond in faith will receive them. This, above all else, should cause you to be thankful--that God considers you trustworthy to be an example of faith in the midst of trials. God is giving you an opportunity to accumulate crowns and blessings in heaven that those who live a life of ease will never have. It is by this that we understand Philippians 1:29 “For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,” As a result of this suffering there comes Christian maturity as well as future blessings--as taught in the following passage:
1 Peter 1:6-7 “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
James 1:2-3& 12 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance…Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

To be considered trustworthy by God to stand the test of trials;
To be blessed by God with greater faith and spiritual maturity through trials;
To receive eternal rewards from God after we have endured trials to His glory;
To be able to share Christ, minister and bring glory to God in new and unforeseen ways because of trials.
Now for these things we can be truly thankful.
Ephesians 5:20 “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;”

By His mercy,
II Corinthians 4:1
Rev. John S. Mahon
Director – Grace Community Int.
Grace Community International goes mobile! The Grace Community International free app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is now available on the App Store. Listen to sermons and workshops delivered at conferences around the world. Keep up-to-date with Rev. Mahon's blog. View Grace Community International's ministry photo albums. Search "Grace Community International" on the App Store today!

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Category:  Oct. 2014 - Home

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Introducing Lord Teach Us To Pray Workbook
MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2015
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Dear Prayer Warriors, We are excited to announce the publishing of our workbook – Lord Teach Us To Pray. This workbook has been developed and revised over a period of more than 20 years in our discipleship ministry with individuals, couples and...
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South Africa Report
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Dear Prayer Warriors, God has greatly blessed your ministry of intercession on this trip. I realize that “pray for me” has become almost a cliché, but Eleanor and I take your ministry very seriously. That is why we post weekly ministry blogs,...
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Thankfulness: Part Two of Four
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Often I am asked about the statement by God the Holy Spirit in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” The question being, when I am ill, when I am broke, when things are going wrong and I...
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Paul and the Apostles: Part Two
MONDAY, MAY 18, 2015
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Doctrinal Misconceptions - Protestant Apocryphal/Teaching True or False - According to the Bible.... - Although commonly taught, not only does the Bible not say that Peter was crucified upside down but in addition there are no primary source 1st...
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Paul and the Apostles: Part One
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Doctrinal Misconceptions - Protestant Apocryphal/Teaching - True or False -According to the Bible.... -Paul hated women and could not get along with them. -It is a common myth, often repeated by liberal theologians, that Paul held to the common...
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Thankfulness Part One of Four
THURSDAY, MAY 07, 2015
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
Dear Prayer Warriors, I have been thinking all week about the goodness of God and thanksgiving. Early in my Christian life, I was impressed by Christ’s question concerning the ten lepers who were healed by Him in Luke 17:16-17 “and he fell on his...
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Doctrinal Misconceptions - Protestant Apocryphal/Teaching
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
True or False - According to the Bible.... - Polygamy was the norm in the Bible. - The land that God promised Israel was to be a land of “milk and honey,” only if Israel lived in such a way as to bring the blessing of God. In reality, it was a...
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24 Apocryphal Myths Commonly Associated With Easter: 21-24
FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
True or False – According to the Bible.... - In the early church, specific words or phrases were taught and were to be repeated during the Lord’s Supper. - There is no Biblical evidence that the symbol of the Cross was used by the early church on...
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24 Apocryphal Myths Commonly Associated With Easter:17-20
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
True or False - According To The Bible.... - In communion/Lord’s Supper – “bitter wine” or “sour wine” is required by the Word of God, due to the bitterness of Christ’s death on the cross or some other allegorical association between bitter wine...
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