2 Corinthians 4:15,16 (NASB) For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
The other day, Pastor Jeff asked me if I would be willing to come in on an upcoming Sunday and speak about thankfulness. I agreed and therefore have begun a study through scripture on what it looks like to exhibit genuine thankfulness. I must confess, as I delve into this subject through scripture, it’s a bit more complicated than I preconceived.
As I contemplate what thankfulness “looks” like, my mind goes to situation and circumstance. My initial thought is that it is easy to be thankful when things are going well, as we plan and hope for, but much harder when things turn upside down on us.
However, it’s been my experience personally, in my own life and heart, as well as what I’ve witnessed from a great many others, often times the opposite is true. So many times when things seem to be going just as I’d have them, my thoughts of God diminish and my gratitude wanes. Why? I don’t know that I realize it at the time, but thinking about it now, I know that I am most assuredly guilty of doing it. Conversely, when things are difficult I often find pleasure, gratitude and appreciation in some of the simplest and easily overlooked things. I’m certainly not perfect and can give over to despair, the same as anyone, when difficult times find me. As I grow deeper and more fully in my faith, as my relationship with the Lord grows stronger, as He works in me a new heart, thankfulness is easier to express in all circumstances. I believe that often times, the downturns may simply be necessary for our realignment. When things are going along great it seems to be easy to lose sight of our ultimate dependence on God. When things aren’t going well, seemingly out of our control, where else are we left to turn besides despair? Perspective shifts and focus is more easily directed where it should be, on Him and all that He is, has done and is, doing for us. Have a blessed weekend.
Colossians 3:15-17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,