Thursday 26 Apr 2018
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John 6:49 -50

Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.


Giving thanks in all circumstances

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Give thanks in all circumstances... for this is the will of God for you1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Unless we understand why we should be thankful in every circumstance, it would be difficult for anyone to see the sense behind it neither can anyone see any benefit that can accrue from doing so. We would as a result struggle to understand why anyone could be thankful in every circumstance, especially if they are difficult and trying moments.

You see the reason for this is because we were all brought up to associate the word thankfulness with the expression of gratitude fit only for acts goodwill or of generosity that we have benefited from. As matter of fact a number of people all over the world as well as from different cultural background have been brought up to be thankful only in response to act of generosity shown to them. On the other hand we do not need anyone to teach us to be resentful and unhappy when we fail to have things go our way or when we find ourselves at the end of what appears to be an unsavoury situation or circumstance. The reason why we are so resentful is because we just cannot see any benefit coming from such circumstance; we simply cannot see any good that such situation can bring to us.

But as believers we need to understand that with God, we are in a win- win situation no matter the circumstance that we are faced with. This is so as long as our focus remains on Him and we continue to trust Him. We are in this win-win situation because God is the one who presides over every circumstance, therefore He is able to make them whether good or bad, to work for the good of those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Are you facing trials, are you going through difficult circumstances that look increasingly hopeless by the day thus rendering you helpless, be thankful, yes be thankful because there are very good reasons why God would allow you to pass through such situation in the first place. The key word here is - 'passing through', you are simply passing through what can rightly be termed a phase in your life, howbeit a momentary phase;

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory(2 Corinthians 4:17).

I consider that our momentary afflictions cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).

This condition is not meant to be permanent in your life, rather it is meant to serve a purpose and is meant to last for a set period. But this temporary phase is capable of producing an enduring virtue in us if only we can endure it and allow it to run its due course. As matter of fact this is the purpose that it was meant to serve in the first place and the very reason why God allowed it. This is the reason why it was included as part of God's will for you and I, as well as everyone else that he calls his child.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our suffering because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character hope(Romans 5:3).

Consider it pure joy my brother whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking in anything (James 1: 2-4).

In this you greatly rejoice even though for now, you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold which perished even though refined by fire  may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1: 6-7).

Are you struggling with some weaknesses, obstacles or stronghold that daily appears to be getting stronger, while your strength appears to be ebbing away? Are you faced with a situation where hopelessness stares you in the face on a daily basis? Of what benefit is this to anyone who is confronted with defeat on daily basis you may be wondering? Well with God it affords him the opportunity to demonstrate his power and his faithfulness in your life, just like Paul found out. You see as our strength diminishes and the things that we rely in ourselves fades away, the power of God that is at work in us increases and the flow of his grace towards us abound as a result;

But he said to me My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness That is why I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me(2 Corinthians 12:9).

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such deadly peril and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope and he will continue to deliver  (2 Corinthians 1:8-10).

What about those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, how can anyone be thankful after the loss of a loved one through one form of tragedy or protracted illness? What about seeing a loved one terminally ill and on the throes of death? Surely there must come a time when giving thanks would become almost impossible? Well if only we understand the position of God even in such situations like and what he plans to accomplish with them;

The righteous perish and no one ponders it in his heart, devout men are taken away and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death (Isaiah 57: 1-2).

As you can see from these few scenarios that we've covered, God does have every angle covered in such a way, that whatever situation we may find ourselves, it would still turn out to our benefit. In addition, we can always count on the fact that we can always draw from the abundance of his grace towards us. Therefore I say to you, whatever life may throw at us and whatever surprise it may have in store for us, good or bad, pleasant or ugly, the relationship we have with God through Christ Jesus guarantees that we are always in a win-win situation.

So go ahead thank Him today for whatever you are going through, for that is the standard demanded from every citizen of God's kingdom.