General CBF

Finding New Reasons to be Thankful This Year

By Gary Skeen 

gary-skeen

Gary Skeen

Are you excited about Thanksgiving this week? After the divisive election we just endured, contemplating Thanksgiving is just the antidote we need to prepare our hearts for Advent and Christmas.

Regardless of your political preference, I think there is a lot of relief it is over. And judging by the phone calls we’re getting, many are feeling anxiety — both socially for our country and financially for investors. Election night, there were media reports of stock market futures dropping, but the next day the market appeared as if nothing had happened.

Speculation on likely financial scenarios from the financial investment companies has run the gamut, but the one common phrase that emerges in nearly every forecast is “nothing is certain.” I think the clear answer here, and the one we at CBF Church Benefits always give about market volatility is we cannot predict the future. That’s why we tell you a consistent investing strategy is best because no one can time markets.

What is missing in all the discussions of political transitions and infighting is gratefulness. We should be grateful that our country’s economy is on firm footing. Jobs are being added, the workforce is expanding, and pay is increasing. Interest rates overall are very low, so we are able to purchase homes and cars, and small businesses are able to access capital.

As Americans, we have much to be thankful for. When I think about CBF field personnel serving in remote countries around the world, it’s easy to count our blessings. Our jobs are good and salaries sufficient to take care of our families’ needs and many wants as well.

Many of our field personnel deal with government instability every day. Some even put their lives on the line because governments in some areas of the world view mission work negatively. Yet these people are willing to risk everything to bring good news to where it’s needed most.

Yes, there are concerns for our country. But I know that many of you are committed to working towards racial conciliation and ministering to the politically overlooked and marginalized neighbors right here. I’m hearing from and reading about many of you being reinvigorated to work harder on these issues after the election because complacency is an easy trap to fall, and more obstacles make some lose hope.

As you gather this week with friends and family and celebrate this uniquely American Thanksgiving feast, I want to first thank you for your service in the Lord. Sometimes the last folks to hear encouragement are those paid to encourage others.

Second, I recognize this might be a difficult time to sit down together. It’s my prayer that we can all set aside any remaining acrimony from the election and remember that we have been blessed by the Grace of God with salvation from Jesus and are called to spread his love to others. And while sometimes it’s easier to face complete strangers and do this, our families need this from us as well. Sometimes, we’re the only light they might see.

Most of you know this, and many of you have been encouraging to me when I needed it serving Church Benefits. It is my great hope that you will find new reasons to be thankful this year, and possibly some unexpected blessings along the way!

Happy Thanksgiving from CBF Church Benefits!

Gary Skeen serves as president of CBF Church Benefits. For more information about CBF Church Benefits, please contact via email at churchbenefits@churchbenefits.org or 1-800-352-8741.

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