“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I find so much joy in simply waking up in the morning. I am thankful that God chose to breathe the breath of life into me. Everyone did not receive this new morning mercy.
Most of us are “rich” in ways we take for granted. Our first world woes have no comparison to the real disparity of third world countries. What they live through we could never endure. We wear out the knees of our pants and they wear out their knees, to paraphrase a line from The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.
But even when we are living in lack, bearing an illness, dealing with wayward children, working stressful jobs, and facing rejection among other pressing issues, we have to find something to be thankful for. We are asked to give thanks in “everything.” The concept is a hard one to fathom. For who can be thankful in the midst of a divorce? Debt? Domestic violence? Homelessness? Infertility? Hunger? Depression? War? Poverty? Racism? Terrorism? Injustice? Addiction?
I’ll admit, I am not always thankful for my trials. However, one thing I have learned from them is that they draw me closer to God like nothing else. When things are going well, I tend to place God on the back burner. But as soon as things fall apart, I’m racing to Him for solace.
Cliched, but true, gratitude is an attitude that must be cultivated. Bad times serve to make us appreciative of the good. When we have this healthy balance it is easier to deal with trouble as we know it doesn’t last and can be used for our good or someone else’s.
I’ve also learned that we can be thankful in everything because what we go through can help someone else. This alone can make hardship worthwhile.
And lastly, a trial is soul refining. It purges impurities and gets you ready for the next battle.
This week, remember these three things as you consider your attitude about the troubles you face:
1. They humble you.
2. They make you whole.
3.They make you hunger for God.