I’ve read this Scripture verse numerous times, but this time it struck me differently.
It’s a command ~~ from GOD to do something ~~ that means I have to make a choice: obey or disobey. He’s telling me ‘what‘ to do: ‘be thankful.‘ That’s an action word on my part. And then He’s telling me ‘when’ to be thankful: ‘in all circumstances’. GULP! And lastly, He’s telling me ‘why‘ I must be thankful: because it’s His Will.
But this command is not for everybody ~~ only for the ones who belong to His Son, Jesus Christ.
So, if I don’t belong to Jesus, I have nothing to worry about and I can keep going my merry way. But if I do claim to be a Jesus Follower, then this certainly applies to me, and the obedience leading to blessing or disobedience leading to consequences also applies to me.
‘Thankful‘ ~~ that doesn’t seem so difficult; not really. There’s lots of things to be ‘thankful‘ for on a daily basis. Waking up, having a job, being in a secure home, friends and family, being involved in ministry ~~ yes, I’d say that GOD hears from me on a regular basis on all these matters.
‘In all circumstances‘ ~~ well, that’s kinda where the tires often times leave skid marks from the grinding halts. Get my drift, Girlfriend? I mean honestly, I’m not always thankful for the ‘bad days‘ in my life ~~ or the ‘bad weeks‘ ~~ or the ‘bad months‘ ~~ or the ‘bad moments.’
However, GOD’S command says to ‘be thankful in all circumstances.’ Really GOD?! You mean when insults are hurled in my direction? You mean when that family member is diagnosed with irreversible health issues? You mean when I can’t afford that unexpected medical expense? You mean when financial burdens are weighing heavily on the scale and the funds aren’t there to balance them out? You mean when that unwed teenage niece announces that she’s pregnant?
Umm, help me out here, GOD, I just don’t have the strength to lift my hands in ‘praise and thanksgiving’ over these times and in these circumstances.
Psalm 136:1-25 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—His faithful love endures forever. the sun to rule the day, His faithful love endures forever. and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever. He brought Israel out of Egypt. His faithful love endures forever. He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever. He led Israel safely through, His faithful love endures forever. but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings. His faithful love endures forever. He killed powerful kings—His faithful love endures forever. Sihon king of the Amorites, His faithful love endures forever. and Og king of Bashan. His faithful love endures forever. God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance—His faithful love endures forever. a special possession to his servant Israel. His faithful love endures forever. He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever. He saved us from our enemies. His faithful love endures forever. He gives food to every living thing. His faithful love endures forever.
This Psalm gives me a different perspective on things. It takes me out of my comfy little world and opens my eyes to the Bigger Picture of ‘thankfulness.’ It’s not merely about what GOD puts in my path that I should ‘determine’ it’s worthiness of ‘thanks.’
It’s about WHO GOD IS. Faithful. Loving. Enduring. FOREVER.
In all my circumstances, which I must remember He is in control and ever-present, He is faithfully loving me. Sometimes that means I have the ‘opportunity‘ to learn and grow. Sometimes that means I have to trust Him in all my circumstances, without necessarily knowing how things will pan out.
Yes, this is one of those big pills to swallow, Girlfriend. But let’s take that pill with a different mindset.
Could it be that it’s just a tad bit easier to go through our ‘circumstances‘ when our mind is focused on being ‘thankful?’ I’ll admit, this really takes a lot of practice to achieve imperfect progress. Being ‘thankful‘ causes a person to be ‘happier,’ ‘appreciative,’ ‘grateful,’ and even ‘joyful.’ This is not merely a diversion.
When our mind is set on being thankful, it’s difficult to maintain a grumbling rumbling attitude. Thankfulness is an attitude and posture of the heart. Try saying thank you with a snarl or growl or frown on your face ~~ doesn’t happen.
Psalm 50:23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
Did you catch that, Girlfriend? Giving thanks honors God. You recognize Who God is and worship Him.
So let’s commit to at least making the effort to be thankful in all our circumstances. I have a feeling that GOD will meet us in those circumstances with an unexpected blessing.
Because His faithful love endures forever ~~ which by the way, is a lot longer than our momentary circumstances will last.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
Lord thank You for getting me though all that You have put in my path. I thank You that You have been with me each step and given me His wisdom, love and strength to pour into those He has called me to minister to. 🙌💖
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