"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB
When I broke a tooth the other day, at first, all I wanted to do was cry. It was a Friday afternoon, and I knew that my dentist would not be in his office again until Monday, so I would have to get through the entire weekend before I could get it repaired. As I got quiet in my spirit and sought the Lord in prayer, I heard His voice gently telling me to make a list of all the things I could thank Him for in this situation. The first thing I wrote down was, "Thank You, Lord, that this tooth is not noticeable." I knew the pain of breaking a tooth that was very obvious when I spoke or smiled, so this positive aspect of my predicament brightened my outlook immediately. I went on to list things like: "This broken tooth isn't sensitive or sharp. It doesn't affect my speech. I have a good, local dentist now. I have decent dental insurance." The more items I added to my list, the better I felt. And I was able to get through that weekend with more peace, joy, and contentment than I ever thought possible.
Scripture says: "Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be; be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP) It goes against our natural tendencies to be thankful when adversity hits, but the truth is that in every situation, there are things we can give thanks for. If we dwell on these things, instead of on the things that are troubling us most, our attitude will immediately improve. I don't know what your situation is today, but may I ask you something? Do you really think that things couldn't be any worse?
When my father died on a plane on the way home from vacation some years ago, our hearts grieved for my mother, who was in a distant city at the time, far from friends and family. Later, when a dear relative's husband died a slow, painful death, my mother praised God that my dad went quickly. Sometime after that, another relative lost her husband in a car accident shortly after she had to have her leg amputated, and my mom gave thanks that she was in good health when my father died. Don't you know that the heart of God rejoiced over my mother's "attitude of gratitude," and that she reaped untold blessings and rewards because of it? I challenge you today to make your own list of things to be thankful for, and to lay hold of the peace, joy, and victory that belong to you in Christ.
Prayer: Lord, when I'm faced with adversity, help me to resist grumbling, and to embrace gratefulness. Remind me that You have given me a divine Comforter to help me exercise thankfulness in every situation. Thank You that as I obey Your command to give thanks in all things, my disappointment and despair will give way to supernatural joy and peace!
- J. M. Farro