Giving thanks in all circumstances
I like the story about the little kid digging through the pile of horse manure because “there must be a pony in there somewhere.”
1st Thessalonians 5:16, 17 & 18 tell us to, “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
I pray a lot, I’m a pastor and it’s what we do, but it’s easy to forget to tell Abba Father what I’m thankful for and go straight to the, “God help and God help now!” Maybe it’s just me, but it’s hard to slow down and forget about all the challenges of life and rest in God’s sovereignty and count our blessings.
A friend of mine sent me a text message last night. He had recently left his ministry job and was looking for a new one. The Blonde and I have been praying for him. My friend shared he had found a temporary position, and while it did not provide full time pay, he knew that, “God’s got this!” I appreciate his faith in what the Bible (Genesis 22:14) calls Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will Provide). My friend was thankful even if the circumstance was not perfect. That’s being thankful IN all circumstances. My point is, regardless of where we are at in life, “we can say thanks in (not for) the manure - and look for the pony.”
In Daniel 3, there is a story about three young men that loved God a lot, and they refused politely to not worship the king. They were told they would be thrown into a fiery furnace and be killed if they refused. Listen to their response, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from your majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Did you catch those two words “even if” … even if we have plenty of manure in our life we can still be faithful, be thankful, have peace, praise God and be confident that He is at work and in control.
Last time I checked, God did not promise perfection; in fact, Jesus said in John 16:33 we would have trouble (manure), but then He said don’t sweat it, cheer up, I’m still in charge and I’ve got this (my paraphrase)!
Even if things are not perfect, it’s okay, enjoy Jesus today, He likes you and He is for you and you can’t do anything about it! He told me to tell you that.