DAY 7 - GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
For about 20 years a dear friend of mine and I studied God’s Word together every week. We walked through life together, supporting each other through all of life’s ups and downs, joys and sorrows. We each had life verses to guide us. Mine involved trusting in God and hers involved doing everything without murmuring and complaining. One thing she instituted in her life was called “Thankful Thursdays.” She made it a practice to review all the things she was thankful for each week. When times were good, it was easy, but when times were difficult, it was challenging. It is funny – when you walk with someone for that long, their life lessons become yours. She grew in faith and I grew in thankfulness. We both learned to look for the silver linings in every dark cloud.
There is always something good that God is doing in our lives. In difficult circumstances, we must train ourselves to notice them. Learning to practice thankfulness and count my blessings has gotten me through some of my toughest challenges: divorce, sickness, death, difficult pregnancies, rejection, financial stress, relationship stress, and even a pandemic.
For me, finding the silver lining in all circumstances means that I need to change my focus and see things from God’s perspective. Some of the questions I ask Him are: “God, what are You after in this situation? What are You trying to teach me? What do You want me to notice?” I have been amazed by His answers. He has shown me that even though He loves to bless me, He loves to bless everyone. He also shows me that His solutions are much wiser, sweeter, and more effective than anything I could imagine apart from Him. As I take a step back and see things from His perspective, I am filled with praise, joy, and thanksgiving for the goodness of God.
What challenges are you facing today? Begin the search for the silver linings that are there but hidden by your discouragement or pain. Ask God to show you what He is doing for you and others amid these challenges. Practice thankfulness.
Notice your internal shift of perspective, and praise God!
- Kathy Pratt