This is the most tumultuous time in society I have seen in my lifetime. Like a hurricane, we have been hit with the covid shutdown, economic shutdown, increase in racial tension, unjustified shootings by police, increased murder, suicide, not being able to go to church, cities burning, a presidential election year, masks, social distancing, and not being able to hang out with friends. I am sure there have been worse times, but not that I have experienced.
I was in a meeting today and one of the participants said, “The world is angrier than it has been in a long time.” I have to agree. As believers, we have to guard ourselves from that pattern of this world and find the right response. And that brings me to our Verse of the Day:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
The context of these words deals with people being idle which usually means they are getting into trouble. It is addressing people being discouraged and struggling. Paul calls for patience with one another, but how can we learn to be patient when people and, in our case right now, the world is in utter chaos it seems. How can we be patient when society is trying to force everyone to take sides which of course, makes us all each other’s enemy? Well, the answer is to give thanks in all circumstances.
He does not call us to give thanks ‘for’ all circumstances, but ‘in’ all circumstances. I can’t give thanks ‘for’ people being unjustly murdered. I can’t give thanks ‘for’ the racial divide. I can’t give thanks ‘for’ increased violence and depression. God doesn’t want any of these and we don’t either. But in the middle of these, I must believe that God is not asleep. He is not dead. He has not turned away. But in every heart, in every place, in every circumstance, He is working to help people see the need for God, turn their hearts back to God, give wisdom to the people of God so that the way things are done in Heaven can come to this Earth where people allow it to be.
So, Christians, I ask you…what can we give thanks for in this storm? We can give thanks that chaos in the world brings us to our knees in prayer. We can give thanks that making wickedness known increases the opportunity we have to help diminish it. We can give thanks that we are still able to find solitude in the mess when we stop to worship our Lord. We can give thanks that God warned us these days were coming reminding us that we can still trust Him. We can give thanks that we have opportunities to shine brighter the love of Christ as the world gets darker. We can give thanks for circumstances that humble us and remind us that we don’t have all the answers. We can give thanks that God has promised the dark valleys of life are seasons that pass. We can give thanks in all circumstances.
This is the will of God. If there has ever been a time in our society when we need to find the will of God, is it not now? But my revelation of God’s will is directly connected to my attitude about the world around me and the people around me. When my attitude excludes thankfulness for what God can do in the worst moments, I am blinded to God’s will.
We must never forget that God used the darkest moment in history where He hung on the cross to accomplish the most glorious task of all, defeating sin, death, and Hell that whosoever believes might have eternal life. When we give thanks in the dark, the light will surely come.
Let us acknowledge the LORD;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth. ”
Hosea 6:3 (NIV)
Leave me a comment. How well are you giving thanks in your circumstances?
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
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