All over this great country, families and friends gathered in keeping with the tradition of coming together to remember and give thanks. The Apostle Paul was consistent in his teachings concerning the need to be thankful in every situation regardless of the circumstances.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (I Thess. 5:18).
Faith is the key ingredient.
We have all heard the saying, “blessings in disguise.” The great secret of the Christian life is to learn to see through the disguises.
The prophet Isaiah gives us the word of the Lord, saying: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
As complex and wonderful as the human mind is, it is woefully inadequate when it comes to understanding spiritual truths and the eternal workings of the Almighty.
In retrospect, we can often discern God’s wisdom in the things He does, but during our trials of faith, we have to live by faith. And how do we do that, we express that faith by thanking God for all things.
Paul wrote, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (II Cor. 5:7).
Are you a sight-walker or a faith-walker? A faith-walker will see God’s hand in all things, and expresses that faith by continual thankfulness. When we thank God for all things, we acknowledge His sovereignty and love. We acknowledge that we trust Him to be our faithful God — to work all things we have to deal with for our good. It pleases God when we do that.
Often the Lord is just waiting for us to thank Him while we are facing some unpleasant situation or problem, and then He removes it when we do, or strengthens us the more to go through it, or shows us how it has worked for our good.
Although sometimes we may be tempted to complain, or display an ungrateful attitude when we are pressed on every side, we must remember “God is faithful!”
Give thanks for the many things you have overcome, and always remember, it could be worse.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (II Cor. 4:8-9).
Tough times should definitely stir in us a desire to be thankful.
Elder Mark E. KIRKLAND is pastor of Temple of Faith Apostolic Church in Killeen.