Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
You would think this would be a very easy verse to obey when our circumstances are pleasant. Ironically enough, however, often times during the pleasant times we are too busy taking credit for them ourselves (or giving the credit to another) to do this.
Then we find ourselves in circumstances which we do not like. It is funny how while we are reluctant to give God credit in the good times, we are extremely quick at giving Him credit for unpleasant circumstances. For example, how often do you see people blaming God if there is a bountiful harvest compared to blaming God when there is an earthquake? When something good happens, it is because of our own hard work, ingenuity and talent. When something bad happens... it is God's fault. Are we messed up or what?
The mature Christian has a thankful heart. In the good times, they realize that God is the source from which those blessings flow. In the bad times, they recognize that despite the circumstances, God has not abandoned them. He is with them in the storm.
I've faced some tough issues over the past six years in regards to health and finances. Truthfully, it has been the roughest time of my life. At the same time, my relationship with God has deepened and grown stronger. Interestingly enough, while my relationship with my husband has always been strong and healthy, it has flourished even more so. It is also during this time that while I lost some friends, I forged some of the deepest friendships I have ever had.
The "fires" of life help forge you into who God wants you to be. As painful as that process is, what it produces in your life is amazing... if you trust God.
Ephesians 5:20 says:
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
The heart that trusts in the Lord is a thankful heart for it recognizes that regardless of our circumstances, God has given us the very best gift of all, salvation.
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net
I love this blog!
As I read the scripture with which you prefaced your blog, [q]Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)[/q], I was reminded of the two verses that preceded it.
[blockquote]Rejoice evermore. (I Th. 5:16 - KJV)[/blockquote][blockquote]Pray without ceasing. (I Th. 5:17 - KJV)[/blockquote]I believe they came to me as they did because they are "key" to helping us develop a more grateful heart; i.e., the more we develop the practice of "rejoicing" and "praying without ceasing," the more those two spiritual practices deepen our level of gratitude.
By the same token, your trials [from your quote below] have without question "deepened" your level of gratitude and have helped you to have a stronger relationship with God and your husband.
"I've faced some tough issues over the past six years in regards to health and finances. Truthfully, it has been the roughest time of my life. At the same time, my relationship with God has deepened and grown stronger. Interestingly enough, while my relationship with my husband has always been strong and healthy, it has flourished even more so."
You've penned a wonderful enriching content. Thank you!
There was a time in my life when I literally had nothing but the clothes on my back. No place to live, no job, no money, nothing. That God brought me through I have no doubt. I never blamed God for my circumstances. It was always my own sinful desires that brought me to such a pass. What I gained was far greater than the temporary situation I endured. So, yes we should thank God for all things.
[quote]It was always my own sinful desires that brought me to such a pass.[/quote]
That is a good point that you brought up. Often times our troubles are the natural consequences of our actions, including disobedience. Other times, these occur simply because we live in a fallen world and we say that it is a part of life.
I didn't get breast cancer because of sinful desires nor was God punishing me. The same was true of my brain "explosion". In fact, I was told that it was a congenital. I believe this to be true for on my father's side of the family, my great-grandfather and grandfather died from cerebral apoplexy which due to the circumstances, my doctor believes was probably due to a ruptured brain aneurysm. My mom's oldest brother probably had the same thing happened when he suddenly complained of a blinding headache and dropped down dead at age 23. More recently my mom's nephew had a ruptured brain aneurysm last March. While his short-term memory is extremely poor and he is unable to live alone and must have a home health aide be with him while his daughter and son-in-law are at work, we are very thankful for how far God has brought him.
Regardless of the reasons why, it is good to know that even in our "dark" times, God can transform that darkness into light.