Have you ever come across this verse & been stumped?
“giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Oh, it’s easy to pull out that verse during happy times – a new baby, a wedding day, perhaps a financial blessing. But what about during trials – big or small?
How about when your dinner burns & you have no other meal options?
When the new baby who was born suddenly becomes extremely sick?
When the hospital bills start piling up & there’s no $$ to match?
When that friend or family member reacts in a way that you never imagined and suddenly your relationship is severed?
When an unexplainable tragedy occurs and innocent lives are thrust out into eternity?
What do you do with that verse at a time when you can’t see the blessings?
It doesn’t take faith to thank God for the pay raise, new baby, or perfect health.
It takes faith when there’s a cut in pay, a lost job, no new baby, sickness, cancer, or ________.
Exercising your faith in this way is hard. It’s hard because it doesn’t make sense. It’s hard because when my heart is breaking or I’m just plain mad over something that did not go according to my plan – the very last thing I want to do is give thanks. Give thanks? For what?
In times like these, here’s what I’ve started doing:
“God, this [fill in the blank] is not what I want. It’s not even close. But you tell me to give thanks always and for everything. And so even though every fiber in my being is cringing at saying this, I’m going to: Thank you for ________________. Thank you for bringing it into my life. Thank you for how you are going to change me through it. Help me to praise you with a spirit full of faith & thankfulness, knowing that You are not only in perfect control, but you are good. Help me to love you more because of this.”
I share this – not because I’m good at doing it, but because I need it. This is where faith meets real life.
Today, I encourage you to give thanks – always & for everything. It’s not easy; but it’s worth it.