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“I had a great weekend with my bride.”
“It’s a beautiful day.”
“I’m enjoying a portion of health, strength or provision”
It’s easy to give thanks for that.
But, the annoying employer,
The unexpected expense,
The person being a jerk,
Or, tragic loss is another matter.
“In everything, give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” This is the command of 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
Admittedly, I have trouble with that, especially as it pertains to things that are unpleasant, painful or are simply something I don’t want to do.
But, God works all things together for good. Nothing is wasted -not even trouble.
For the Christian, trouble is strength conditioning. It’s our gym. By it, we are being made mighty in God when we get with the program and do not despise the training of the Lord.
So, as trouble presses against us, more and more we develop the strength to stand firmly.
The goal is to become immovable.
The goal is to not be moved by any circumstance from a place of peace, joy and love in God –strength built on faith in Christ that even the gates of hell cannot prevail against.
A house built on the Rock.
Imagine the value of being such an asset on the battlefield! Imagine the beacon of hope it would be. Imagine the refuge in Christ it would offer others. Imagine the protection it would provide our families and community. Imagine the glory God would receive!
Giving thanks in all things returns our focus to Him, it reminds us of His promises and that we are being prepared. It helps us get our minds right so that we can get the most out of the training now to be effective in our assignment later.
So, as I encounter trouble, I pray to enter into a more appropriate attitude for a child of the King,
“Thank you Father, for the opportunity this hardship affords me;
to gain experience, strength and promotion,
This light and momentary affliction is working for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
I trust You to get me there,
to make me into what You would have me to be.
Help me to understand and submit to what You’re teaching me.
Teach me to dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
Make me immovable.
In the name of Jesus Christ and for Your glory I pray.
And, in those moments where there is an onslaught and the enemy attempts to overwhelm me, my breath prayer is,
“Thank you Father, for the opportunity.”
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
– 1 Corinthians 15:57-58