To the youth readers:
The season of giving thanks is quickly approaching. I like to call this the “Thankful Season.”
So many people take this time to provide services to the less fortunate. As a young man, I think the season of gratitude should be present all year around, daily or as often as we can. Being thankful for what we have endured or the challenges we have been through is not always easy to look back on.
This time of giving thanks is especially sensitive for me, as we were without a place to call home four years ago. We are grateful for the blessings that are bestowed upon us, not just at this time, but on a daily basis.
I am encouraged, as in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, it says, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I continue to put my trust in God with the mindset of “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and He will give me the desires of my heart.” I believe, as it states in Psalms 9:1, we shall always “praise the LORD, with all our hearts.” We should be thankful at all times for all the blessings we’ve received.
When I pray and ask God for anything, I believe and exercise my Faith, because I know faith without works is dead. It clearly states this in James 2:14, “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?”
Whatsoever you believe, turn to Philippians 4:6 as it declares, “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
To my peers, John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer.” In all you do be thankful, be kind, include the less fortunate, even if you cannot get to them or give them material things.
Always remember when all else fails, you can always pray and ask God to give you the strength to encourage others. When you let go what’s in your hands, God will surely let go what’s in His to comfort you.
My prayer for you all is that you will surround yourselves with family, friends, loved ones, and neighbors needing a helping hand during this season, which can be lonely for some. In Proverbs 16:4, “gracious words are like honeycomb sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” You can make a difference with just one kind word.
Lastly, young readers as you continue to grow in the Lord, I would like to encourage you to stand on Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” Amen!
Joshua Apparicio is a 13-year-old honor student and a member of Morningside Church of Christ in Inglewood, CA.