“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT).
Paul wrote us Spirit inspired instructions to give thanks in all situations. Why? Because that is God will for believers.
Sometimes it is just downright hard to be thankful in dismal circumstances. I get it.
But that is when it is most important to give thanks.
Paul understood dismal circumstances as he had been imprisoned, shipwrecked, robbed, starved, without clothes, stoned, beaten, flogged and left to die (see 2 Corinthians 11:22-27).
But yet he still wrote about giving thanks IN all circumstances, not FOR all circumstances.
How could Paul be thankful in spite of his circumstances?
I believe it is because Paul looked beyond the natural circumstance and into the eternal.
Paul wrote in Romans that he had “a joyful confidence.” Let’s read that from Romans 5:3-6 from The Passion Translation.
“But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!”
So what does that mean for us? It means that in our trials and in our pressures of life, our character will be developed because God’s love works in us and through us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We have so much to be thankful for, beginning with Jesus’ completed work on the cross, His resurrection, and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Thanksgiving arrives this week. And yes, many families are missing loved ones this week, whether it is due to their heavenly graduation, military or first responder service, travel plans, or incarceration. Let’s remember to keep them in our prayers and ask anyone who will be alone to join us in our empty seats.
Remember be thankful–always–for what we do have and trust that God will fill in the void of our lives for what we don’t have as we give Him thanks.
May you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Shonda learned how to give thanks in all circumstances as she leaned into the Lord to find hope. You can read her testimony in her upcoming book.
With the slam of the gavel, the hopes and dreams for your future shatter. With a judgment rendered, you or a loved one now serve time in prison. Will another court hear your pleas?
In despair over her son’s future, Shonda Whitworth petitioned the Lord on his behalf and searched the Scriptures. Finding how the Lord redeems the worst offenders, she learned how to appeal to the heavenly court and receive hope from God for her son’s future.
In Appeal to the Courtroom of Heaven, Shonda shares how she went from deferred hope to a hope-filled life. This book will help you:
- Identify biblical heroes who were lawbreakers
- Understand the prosecutor’s strategy
- Make effective appeals on behalf of yourself and your loved ones
Hope will be restored as you confidently plead your case to the courtroom of heaven!
About the author:
Shonda Whitworth writes, teaches, and speaks at conferences and retreats to share the hope of healing and restoration we have in Jesus. After her son landed in state prison, she realized the hardships families of prisoners encounter. She and her husband, Eldon, founded Fortress of Hope Ministries, a nonprofit organization that offers hope to families affected by incarceration. Shonda transparently shares her testimony of living with a son in prison at ShondaWhitworth.com and FortressofHopeMinistries.com.
Click here to preorder your copy today.
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