It’s November. Once again women are raising the standard of gratitude by keeping daily account of the many things they are thankful for. There are reports of being thankful for the small things, like cherry lip balm…to the larger things, like negative reports on a cancer scan. From large to small, the internet, Facebook and twitter feeds are filled with thanks. It’s nice.
But sometimes life isn’t so nice. Mean circumstances make it down right difficult to squeeze out a “thank you God” ….. We doubt that God could have anything to do with the situations we are in. Often the hardest circumstances are when things are entirely out of our sphere of control or when people are the culprit of our pain.
The amazing truth of God’s care in our lives is that He is with us and even shaping us through circumstances that we don’t like, can’t control, caused us pain, and involve other people. As backwards as it seems, suffering can be an effective tool in the hand of a Faithful God. A shaping tool used to draw us close to His side, replacing our idolatrous connection to other people and things, with a firm surrender to His will in our lives….even when we don’t feel like His way makes sense in the moment.
In the moment pain can turn us inside out. The natural thing to do when in a place of pain is to is RUN. We want out, want our pain to go away, want to make things better. Usually our running leads us down wrong paths, rabbit trails and into a place that might temporarily distract but never leads us to a better place. What if we had a different view in the hard times? What if we believed they would work for our best, even when the best is only a distant hope? What if we took God’s Word seriously regarding these uncomfortable places in the journey?
Consider His Word:
The promise in our sufferings
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.“James 1:2
“And the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away f rom me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I gladly boast about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 1 Cor 12:8-10
Christ’s example in his sufferings
“When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” 1 Peter 2:23
“He humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:8
I don’t know what your are going through right now, but I know this–there are promises of God’s work within each of our problems, and His grace being our power in weakness!
Here are some promises to Thank God for today:
- My current situation/problem is developing me. Through it I will become more mature, complete and not lacking in anything God has for me.
- After I have suffered in this current situation for God’s given time, he will restore me, make me strong and unmoveable!
- In my current hardship Christ’s power is being made perfect in me. When I am weak in myself, His strength wins out.
Here are some things to notice about Christ’s sufferings:
- He didn’t fight others
- He entrusted himself to God
- He trusted in God’s judgement above man’s
- He humbled himself and obediently walked through
what are you going through?
how could Christ’s example bring you into a new way of handling things?
what do the promises speak to your heart?
It’s November….now begin thanking God, moment by moment, day by day, until the peace of God rules your heart and you are filled with the contentment of knowing that God can be trusted completely with all aspects of living.
“Give thanks in all circumstances,for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes 5:18
I am challenged through some current things, but I am going to humble myself in surrender to God, by trusting him with thanks. Join me on the journey!