“In all things and in everything give thanks and praise in Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis added) 1st Thessalonians 5:18 The beauty of this scripture was brought home to me this past week when I received a phone call from a precious friend and sister in Christ who called to share with me the news that her husband had been diagnosed with an untreatable, incurable illness called Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.
She and I have been friends and prayed together for our families for years. I know that she loves her husband dearly, and they are true marriage ‘partners’. However, rather than calling me in panic or with desperation, her voice was calm and it— as well as her words— bore witness to the depth of her total confidence and trust in the loving nature of God. She and her husband believe in the miraculous healing power of God, and although that is their desire, their even greater desire is that God will be glorified in and through this situation, as well as in every aspect of their lives. She expressed her thankfulness for the Body of Christ, for prayers for her husband, and for how they had already seen God at work in the midst of their situation.
Do you think that would be your response if you were ‘in her shoes’? How is such a reaction even possible?
By knowing God’s Word and being intentional about viewing your circumstances through the lens of God’s Word. The Word of God is always a blessing; however, we tend to realize how desperately we need to hear from God when we are going through the trials of life. (Psalm 119: 103,105; John 16:33)
By recognizing that your life is not your own; you were created by God, for Hispleasure and His glory, and to do the works He created you to do. Jesus paid with His blood the price to redeem you from your sin. (Isaiah 43:7-9; Psalm 100:3; Ephesians 2:10; 1st Corinthians 6:19-20)
By trusting in the reality that God has a plan and a purpose for your life and that He is always at work for your good if you love Him. (Romans 8: 28)
By recognizing that God’s ways are always higher than your ways and even when you can’t understand what He does, you can trust Him because He is wiser and knows what is best for you and those you love. (Isaiah 55: 8-9)
By trusting in God Who is always loving, and believing that everything that He does or allows to come into your life is based upon His great love for you. Believing that absolutely nothing can separate you from the love that Christ has for you! (Romans 8: 38-39; 1st John 4:8)
By relying upon the truth that since God gave up His Beloved Son for you, there is nothing that He will ever withhold from you that is for your good. You can trust the One Who sacrificed what He loved most in order for you to be reconciled to Him! (Romans 8:32)
By keeping your focus on the reality that life on earth is brief and fragile; you are a pilgrim just passing through this life. In other words, by not losing sight of the reality that your life on earth is a ‘dot’ compared to the ‘line’ of your eternity. (Psalm 39:5; Psalm 90:12 Psalm 144:4; James 4:14)
By resting in the assurance that you will spend a glorious eternity in heaven with Jesus if you have trusted in His finished work on the cross on your behalf. (1st John 5:13; John 5:24; John 3:16; John 14:1-3; John 20:31)
Can you truly say that you are thankful in ‘all things’ and ‘in everything’? Do you truly believe that God can bring good out of every circumstance? When we truly believe and demonstrate by our response that we trust God—no matter what our circumstances—we will please God, glorify His Name, and be used as a witness to draw others to the Source of our thanksgiving.