There is a saying that goes, ďWorry is a down payment on a problem that may never materialize.Ē So well said, for often we create worst-case scenarios in our imagination. Even if our fears do come to pass, whatís the value in dying a thousand deaths before we die? In three earlier articles, weíve looked at what Philippians 4:6 teaches: Do not worry; pray instead; make specific requests to God; and finally, hereís the fourth instruction Ė give thanks.
Thanksgiving is an act of obedience.
The Bible instructs us to give thanks in every circumstance (1 Thes. 5:18), and for every circumstance (Eph. 5:20).† I find this challenging! Do you? One can always find reasons to be thankful in any circumstance. However, there are some circumstances so painful that thanking God for them is hard, and comprehending any possible rationale for thanksgiving is even harder. Yet obey we must, because Godís word will never fail (Matt. 24:35). How could one be expected to thank God for the death of a loved one? Or for the loss of their livelihood? Or for an illness which is wrecking their lives? Or for the betrayal of a spouse?
Our heavenly Father is omniscient and if we knew everything He knows, we would have the insight to thank Him.
Thanksgiving transports us into Godís presence and replaces anxiety with joy!
We enter Godís presence by thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4) because when we praise Him, even through tears, He indwells our praise (Psalm 22:3). And when we are in Godís presence, we experience joy so intoxicating that itís indescribable (Psalm 16:11). In this way, we go through tough situations, insulated by the joy of Godís presence. All of a sudden, He is in the fire of trial with us, and the only things destroyed are our fetters of addiction, fear, compulsion and sin (Daniel 3:22-25). When the trial is over, we are transformed and freer!
Thanksgiving separates those who hope in God from those who donít.
The difference between thankful people and those who arenít is no small gap. The former is trusting in God; whereas the latter is focused on earthly solutions. Jeremiah 17:5-8 is a sobering contrast between the blessing of trusting in God and the curse of trusting in man.† If we would fix our gaze on God, and hope not just in what He will do, but hope in He Himself, our total outlook would change from despair to hope. Sadly those who donít trust in God miss out even when help comes their way because their heart has dismissed God and they are not looking in His direction. †
Iíll grant that thanking God in difficult circumstances is a sacrifice. You may not be able to sing and dance, but say to Him, ďGod, all my hope is in You and I know You are good. Thank You for everything you have already done ... (list them† .imagine life without them.) I donít deserve anything. Thank You for being with me and for carrying me through. In Jesusí name.Ē
I hope these articles have helped in your trial or prepared you for adversity.† Our God is omnipresent and omnipotent. He had to allow your trial or it could never happen. If He did, He has a greater purpose, and when you see it, youíll understand why you are thanking Him now. †
Donít worry. Pray. Ask specifically. And Give thanks. Hallelujah!
Siyan Fayiga is a guest columnist of the Waxahachie Daily Light.† She lived in Waxahachie for 14 years.† She currently resides in Allen, Texas, with her husband of almost 20 years, and their three teenagers.† Siyan owns a business in Waxahachie, and her husband has practiced medicine in Ellis County for almost 19 years.† Siyan is a Bible teacher and speaker.† Her greatest passion is knowing God more intimately, and helping people find The Way through His word. Comments may be directed to email@example.com.