“Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In ALL circumstances, really? How can we be thankful and full of gratitude when our life hits turbulence or even crashes?
That was the question just posed to me by a member of our global online tribe. And when I read it, my first thought was: “I need to remind her that God is actually asking for MORE than thankfulness.”
We are to be JOYFUL, too!
And that’s the SECRET WEAPON when it comes to addressing the “give thanks in all circumstances” mandate from God. BE JOYFUL!
So where do we summon GRATITUDE and the strength to give thanks in all circumstances when life seems to be nothing more than a series of tests and trials that, seemingly, will never stop?
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6
Now…the JOY CONNECTION.
We must be paying attention when our discontentment in life leads to wishful thinking about eliminating what we perceive to be the source of our JOYLESSNESS.
It could be dampened joy (if not joylessness) from our job to our spouse to our money to our looks to our friends to our faith or to…you fill in the blank. For many of these hurting souls, they are operating a “JOYLESS FACTORY” with a steady stream of trauma and pain skidding off its production line. I’ve been there myself.
Since it is difficult for Satan to tempt a believer filled with GODLY JOY, we must fight back against discontentment every day by looking at everything as a possible reason to rejoice in God’s goodness.
When our spiritual heart starts skipping beats, it is time to search for the source of our discontentment and immediately REBOOT OUR CONNECTION WITH GOD.
The thanks coming out of Jesus had nothing to do with the choppy seas he was swimming in on Golgotha at the cross. The GRATITUDE Jesus felt was a joy-driven, future-based promise of grace from God.
Jesus took his mind off the cross and focused on his future joy in the middle of his current trauma.
The lesson for us is compelling and crystal clear: WE are to place the same focus on OUR joyful future promised by God.
The key to developing a grateful heart and vanquishing worry and fear and anger and negativity is clinging to a joyful future through Christ that will give us the strength and courage to be thankful in all circumstances.
I want to give God THANKS no matter my circumstances and choose JOY when everything happening in my life says that is impossible to do.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Can you be JOYFUL and THANKFUL to God no matter what happens or has happened today?
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 1:4