November 19, 2017 – In All Things Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Introduction

: As part of Paul’s final admonition to the Thessalonians is this, v. 18, “(Give thanks) Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Question? Really? In all things?

Even though gratefulness doesn’t come naturally in difficult circumstances, a decision to thank God for walking with us through life makes us more sensitive to His comforting presence.

Knowing that the Lord allows hurt and trouble for His good purposes takes the edge off the pain. Even if we don’t understand why we’re going through suffering, we can thank God because we know that in His time, He’ll work it all for good. In the meantime, we can rest in the knowledge that He’s using every hardship to transform us into the image of His Son (

Rom. 8:28-29

).

When the situation we’re experiencing is the last thing we’d ever want, thanking the Lord is a giant step toward being able to follow Christ’s example and say, “Not my will, but Yours be done” (

Luke 22:42

). Gratitude helps us acknowledge that God’s will is best, even if it’s hard; in that way, we are able to release our hold on what we want. Although the circumstances may remain the same, submission changes our heart.

Pride, adequacy, and independence evaporate whenever we’re trapped in a situation that leaves us helpless and hopeless. If there’s no way out, thanking God for His control over all things reminds us that He alone is our strength.

There’s no way to “rejoice always” (

1 Thess. 5:16

) without giving thanks in everything (v. 18). That’s why ungrateful people are so grumpy. Joy is an inner sense of contentment, which flows from a deep assurance that all God’s purposes are good and He’s in complete control of every situation. With that kind of supernatural joy, it’s easy to be thankful.

The world is filled with people who are angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed with the difficulties of life. But a believer with a grateful attitude is like a light shining in a dark place. The people around you will want to know why you don’t grumble and complain the way everyone else does. Then you can tell them about your amazing Savior.

The key to a grateful heart begins with understanding the Lord’s character because knowing His awesome attributes motivates trust and gratitude. He knows exactly what you’re going through, loves you unconditionally, and understands you perfectly. When you thank Him in tough times, He gets bigger, and the circumstances become smaller.

The apostle Paul is an amazing example of a man who suffered extreme hardship yet remained thankful. That’s because he was able to see life from God’s perspective. In 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

, he says our present suffering is “momentary light affliction.” If you’re going through a really hard time, those words may sound ridiculous. Maybe you’ve been dealing with pain your entire life, or a difficult trial has dragged on for decades. It hardly seems momentary or light.

But Paul is comparing our situations here on earth with what’s awaiting us in eternity. For him, a 40-year stretch of pain and hardship was no match for the “eternal weight of glory” awaiting him (

2 Cor. 4:17

). What an amazing thought—your present pain has the potential to produce incomparable glory for you in heaven. Now that’s a big reason to thank God!

Most of us can handle short trials, but if they continue for a long period of time, the emotional and physical strain is exhausting. Should ongoing illness, unresolved relational problems, or continued financial pressures become more than we can bear, it’s time to start thanking God because He has promised to give strength to the weary (

Isaiah 40:29

). He’ll release His supernatural energy within us so we can patiently endure the trial and come out victorious on the other side.

I learned this principle through a very difficult experience. When I was feeling anxious about the situation, I discovered that complaining, getting angry, and arguing with God didn’t change my circumstances. Finally, in desperation, I began thanking Him. Only then did I receive His incomprehensible peace. My situation didn’t change for quite a while, but God’s peace guarded my heart all the way through that trying time.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

1

Living New Life

Colossians 3:1-17 Introduction: We left off Chapter 2 of Colossians by verse 8, Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers1 of this world, rather than from Christ; (NLT) and 2:16, So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or…

false

Danger of Deception

Colossians 2:6-23 Introduction: Translations use words They are described as vain, empty, hollow, high-sounding, nonsense (NLT) Theosophy = any of a number of philosophies maintaining that a knowledge of God may be achieved through: One of the challenges being taught by legalists (Jews) was that of the role of Circumcision. 1A. Role of Circumcision Part…

Supremecy-of-Christ-Col.-1080x648

Supremecy

Colossians 1:16-23 Introduction: Probably the greatest single theme of Colossians in the Supremacy of Christ! The supremacy of Christ is a doctrine surrounding the authority of Jesus and His God-nature. In the simplest of terms, to affirm the supremacy of Christ is to affirm that Jesus is God. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines supreme as “highest in…

WisdomvsKnowledge_1000x700_jpg_OHVUvmTo-790x310

Spiritual Wisdom and Spiritual Understanding

Colossians 1:9-14 NLT – ‘To give you complete knowledge’…. Knowledge – epignosis = precise and correct knowledge. Knowledge of things ethical and spiritual. Difference between ‘understanding’ and ‘wisdom.’ Understanding – comes from the Greek – epistemon which focuses on intellect and factual knowledge. Wisdom – Sophos – more related to the practical, real-life use of…

BTLA1

Back to Life Again

Introduction: The resurrection of Jesus. Following His Resurrection from the dead, Jesus made a number of appearances to his followers—no less than ten of these are recorded in Scripture. Beginning on Resurrection Sunday, He “showed himself alive . . . by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3, KJV) and instructed His apostles and many other followers…

palm 24

Entrance Toward the Exit

Interrogative: What is Palm Sunday Fox NewsUSA TodayCNNBrittanica In this Holy Week, may God direct our thoughts and attention towards what matters most, Jesus Christ our King. Transition: Just I end with addressing ‘how Jesus Came to us’ let me go through this ‘Holy Week’ after His triumphant entry. On Day 2 Monday – Jesus…

2

Great Commission – Part 2

Matthew 28:18, Romans 10:14 Introduction: Final Instructions – The Great Commission – Part 2 Week 1 The Decline in America of both professing to be Christians, the Un-churched, and the De-churched. Reasons for Leaving     Move To NEW COMMUNITY 25%     I HAD OTHER pRIORITIES FOR MY TIME AND MONEY 15% I DIDN’T…

2

Final Instructions – The Great Commission Part 1

Matthew 28:18 Introduction: I want to spend some time here in March to address some of Jesus’ ‘Final Instructions.’ (I took into consideration our business meeting where again I was reminded that probably our weakest link in in 5 Core Values is Evangelism. Proselytization – to try to persuade someone to change their religious or…

faithful

Found Faithful

1 Corinthians 4:2 Matthew 25:14-23 Galatians 5:22-23 – Fruit of Spirit = ‘Faithfulness’ Hebrews 10:23 ‘Let us hold fast the confession/profession of our hope/faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful’ (NKJ). NLT Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his…