Give Thanks in All Circumstances
Here is a novel idea! Give thanks for the bad days. Yes, you heard me right. According to the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we are to give thanks in all circumstances.
It is easy to give thanks when I am well-rested, and everything seems to be going my way. Don’t get me wrong; I am thankful for my good days too. I fair better when everything is going right; yet, I often become self-reliant when all is rosy.
One reason, I can give thanks for the hard times is because they point out my need for God. Yet, He is able to give me the strength I need to serve others even when I am at my worst. He never fails to supply all my needs. All I need to do is ask for His help and strength.
Another reason to be thankful for the tough times is to remember God’s many blessings in my life. God uses my bumps in the road to cause my faith to grow. Sure it is nice to want to be on the mountaintop with Him, but it is in the valleys that my faith is strengthened. When I am having a bad day, I can reflect on His blessings to provide me the hope to carry on.
Last but not least, if I reflect on what Jesus went through to set me free, my bad days don’t seem so bad. The joy of knowing Him becomes my strength. So the next time you find yourself having a bad day, give thanks to God, for He is good and will bring you through it all.
I pray: Lord God, Heavenly Father, help me to stop when I am having a bad day and give You thanks for You are good. I know that You will bring me through it. Amen.
Need more on giving thanks? Click here 3 Reasons to Be Thankful
What Does Trusting Jesus Look Like?
I had a dear friend ask me how does one know if he/she is trusting in the Lord. I told her that I would have to explore that some, so I turned to my Bible dictionary and trust means to have confidence in. To trust in the Lord is to place one’s confidence in Him that He is there with you whatever comes your way; having confidence that He will comfort you when you are hurting, give you the strength to stand or the words to say. It is also having confidence that He will keep His promises to never leave nor forsake you. It is taking Him at His word. Therefore, I will be trusting in Him in good and in bad times.
No, we are not promised a rose garden. Jesus said that there will be trouble but to take heart He has overcome the world. The joy of the Lord is our strength. This joy comes from knowing Him intimately and knowing that this world is not our home. Yet, while we are here we are to love and serve Him and let His light shine in us that others can come to know Him, too. There is no greater joy than knowing Him.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:4 ESV
David trusted God to give him the kingdom long before it happened. Noah trusted God when God told him to build the ark and time and again when Noah sent the dove out. Peter trusted Jesus when Peter first stepped out of the boat but when he took his eyes off of Jesus he began to sink. Thus, David and Noah placed their confidence in God and not in themselves. Peter fell short when withdrew his trust. Therefore, trusting is placing one’s confidence and hope in God and no one else.
One of my favorite verses is in James is chapter 1 verse 5 where it tells me that God does not find fault in me when I ask for wisdom, therefore, I do not believe that God will find fault in me if I ask for Him to help me trust Him more. One of my many favorite hymns puts it together so well is Trust and Obey. The link has the lyrics to this simply beautiful hymn.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
Grumbling? Take It to God.
Philippians 2:14-15; Jeremiah 31:25
I was reading my Jesus Calling for today and yesterday (10/10 and 10/9) about grumbling. There was an interesting fact that if I think that I have reason to grumble. I should take to Him. If I grumble and complain to anyone else it opens the door for deadly sins like self-pity and rage. Yet, by going to Him He will lift it and replace it with His thoughts. He will also put His song in my heart. Wow, what a shift in paradigm this is. God, after all, can handle it better than anyone else could.
For today, I am reminded that I am to live in the present and not to divide my life into things that I can do myself and things that require His help. I am to train my mind to seek His help continually. All I need to do is relax and refresh myself in the light of His presence. This is easy to do when I am in need of Him yet it is a challenge to do so when I am feeling on top of the world.
Another Way to Look At It.
I saw the movie Inside Out and in it, I learned that all our emotions have a purpose and one cannot remain in one emotion all the time. Sometimes joy comes out of sadness. It is like learning to appreciate the rain in a drought. I have had plenty of days where I was filled with joy and then the next day I felt the opposite. There were uncertainty and sadness. I didn’t like feeling this way. I reminded myself that God remained faithful and that I could not abide in the elevated mood all the time. Maybe my focus on Him had shifted and I needed to be brought back to a place where I would turn to Him.
From my own experience, when I have trusted Him in every situation (for a time) I have been able to enjoy life more and face each day confidently. Therefore, I need to recognize it better when I have shifted my focus and bring it back to trusting Him more and myself less. I will do my best to take my grumbling before Him and ask for Him to help me to see things differently.
My Prayer: Gracious Lord, I am thankful that not only will You listen to my grumbling but also will give me a change of heart and put Your song in my heart. Forgive me for the times that I lose my focus and rely on myself. When will I learn that You are trustworthy in all things and at all times? Amen.