Friday, December 21, 2012

Good Advice-Thankful Always by Martin Wiles

Series: Good Advice

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (I Thessalonians 5:18 NLT).

“Seriously God? Be thankful in all circumstances?”

“Yes.”

“Even when my children are rebelling and making poor choices?”

“Yes I want you to be thankful.”

“And when my wife walks in, tells me she doesn’t love me anymore and that she’s leaving for another man?”

“Yes, then too.”

“What about when my boss informs me sales have been down, that they’re going have to cut back, and my position is one of the cutbacks?”

“Yes, even then.”

“Or when my financial manager says my investments didn’t do as well as he expected and that my losses for the year are quite significant?”

“I’m afraid even then.”

“I don’t know God. Seems like a pretty tall order. Not sure I can handle the thanking thing….”

Misreading the verse sets us up for failure and produces a gross misunderstanding of God’s expectation. There’s a vast difference between thanking God in all circumstances and thanking him for all situations. Amazing how one little word can change an entire meaning.

God doesn’t expect us to thank him for evil things, but he does expect us to thank him continually or in everything. Doing so recognizes his control over every situation and also fosters dependence on him. Our lives and the physical world both suffer the ravaging effects of sin creating many unpleasant circumstances. Believing God can overrule distasteful side effects and bring good from them-as he promises for his children, along with experiencing the cleansing effect of forgiveness, makes it possible to thank God regardless of what objectionable things are presently occurring. Let God teach you the art of thanking him in all circumstances.

Prayer: Lord, we confess our distaste for unpleasant circumstances, but they remind us of our dependence on You. Give us faith to believe You’re in total control and the ability to thank You in all things regardless of whether we enjoy the circumstances or not.


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