Be thankful.

Be thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Someone said, “Our appearance is a true reflection of what’s happening within us, not what we are going through”. This means that we are bound to portray whatever we have internalized from the situations around us, for instance, if we believe that “all things are working for good” despite the negative circumstance, it would reflect in our disposition and actions, but if despondent and discouraged by situations, such a person is bound to carry a gloomy, sad face and exhibit no zest for life.

Our text encourages us to choose to be thankful in every situation. It is not a forced happiness or a continuous need to comport ourselves to look joyful, rather, our thankfulness should emanate from a place of deep reflection and absolute trust in God for His sovereign rule over every situation. The scriptures tell us of “joy unspeakable” that comes while in tribulation and trial, a joy that overflows the heart of a believer when he has submitted to the total will of God regardless of the outward realities surrounding him.

There are moments when we think it is justified to be sad, moody, and discouraged, but we are taught that such reactions do not solve the problem or bring peace- Matthew 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? These are clouds that cover our eyes from beholding the manifold goodness of God both in the past and even in the future. A good example of men who defied this reaction is found in Paul and Silas in the prison of Thyatira where they were beaten and tied down, yet they lifted their voices in prayer and adoration to God, and we know the ultimate result of that. These men understood and accepted the trials of their faith as a lesser entity to the redemption and eternal life they possess in God. Thus, they forgot their pain and confused the thoughts of the arch-enemy whose purpose was to discourage and turn them away from the focus of their chosen evangelistic outreach to the Gentile nations. They had a deep connection to God that traversed the mere sufferings of the flesh and the comforts of life. What a challenge to us today to get into the nitty-gritty of faith rather than remain fickle, superficial, jelly-like Christians who would fade and run at the sight of every little inconvenience for the cross of Christ- Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

When situations arise, our first thought must be to worship God, not to lay accusation and questions before Him- Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, While we worship Him and submit to His sovereignty, we receive grace and divine strength to counter the real desire of the enemy for bringing the negative circumstance. Once we do that, the name of God is glorified, and we begin to thread in victory even though the situation might remain.

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