Last week I wrote about the discipline of gratitude. The ability to give thanks in all circumstances is an indicator of my spiritual health. As a Christ follower, I am challenged to find the courage to give thanks through difficult circumstances and unanswerable situations. This discipline alone has been one of the most profound in over twenty five years of ministry.
It wasn't until I worked through my own experiences of disappointment, despair, agony and isolation that I could grasp the reasoning behind God's command for his people to give thanks. Precious jewels like peace, understanding, sacrifice and humility were hidden within the complex activity of giving thanks. I found emotional release and psychological relief in the midst of personal turmoil and grief as I gave thanks to God in all my circumstances.
I discovered that giving thanks to God in all circumstances created a bond of security and hope with him. Gratitude kept my heart healthy and un-offended. When we receive the benefits of this revelation, our thanksgiving to God doesn’t rely on the circumstances around us, but rather, the strength we find from a good God in us.
The circumstances we face may be grim and our questions may go unanswered. But, if we give thanks in the middle of these circumstances, we will come to know God in ways we could never imagine. Knowing God. He is our reward.
"No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18 [The Living Bible]