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By David H. Snyder
While growing up, I would sometimes complain to my parents about what I
considered to be the terrible problems I was experiencing at school. After Dad and
Mom told me, “It builds character,” they also responded with the reminder, “You have
a lot to be thankful for.” They taught me that no matter how much I was suffering,
there was always someone else in the world whose situation was
much worse than mine. This thought has helped me in many
ways. In this editorial, I would like to mention three of the biggest
ways this truth continues to be helpful. First, it reminds me to
appreciate the multitude of blessings I have been given.

Second, it exhorts me to minister to others. Third, it helps
me to maintain a balanced perspective about life and
eternity. Too often we forget about the goodness of God and the
multitude of blessings He has showered upon us. It is easy
to grow accustomed to the good things we possess and take them
for granted. My family and I lived in Talkeetna, Alaska, for about seven years while
planting Talkeetna Baptist Church. In my opinion, that area of the state is the best
place to view Denali (aka Mt. McKinley). It was quite a privilege to see the tallest
mountain in North America while driving to the post office. However, after living
there a few years, I almost did not notice the snow capped peak during many of my
trips to town. When someone from the Lower 48 visited us, they were amazed at
the beauty of the mountain range and would ask to stop so they could take pictures.

As Christians (particularly those of us who live in America), we have received a
countless number of blessings from God—the greatest being our salvation. We
should be continually amazed by His goodness and grace. However, many of us
have grown accustomed to God’s benevolent gifts and we do not notice them while
driving down the road of life.

Our reaction to God’s goodness should be a desire to minister to others. By
serving others we are serving God (cf., Matthew 25:34–40). It was a blessing to see
so many of you respond to the need in Nepal following the earthquake there earlier
this year. I am extremely grateful for each one who gave toward the needs of the
Nepalese devastated by the earthquake. Thank you for your generosity. As Believers,
our service to others should be from a heart of gratitude for all that God has given
us. The depth of our love and devotion to God will be in direct proportion to our
depth of understanding about everything Christ has done for us (cf., Luke 7:36ff).

The resulting effect will be a desire to express our appreciation and worship to God
Number 3, 2015