In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18
This summer has been hard!
Trials and troubles have rolled in like waves in a stormy sea. Again and again, I have found myself overcome and overwhelmed.
But, then. Then, I would remember the power of two small words. Thank You!
"Thank You, Lord, that this is happening!"
Thank You, Abba Father, that You are in control!"
"Thank you, Papa God, that you are not surprised or shaken by this."
"Thank You, dear Jesus that You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords."
True confessions. A tweak in perspective. Declarations to the enemy of my soul. Time and time again, my sincere "thank you" released God's power within me to transform this weak and wavering woman back to a peace-filled and trusting child of God. My fear turned to faith. Worry to hope. Trouble to trust.
Long ago, I discovered, I can truly thank God in everything, because
- I believe in His Promises
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son. Romans 8:28-29
- I trust He is in control of our lives
Honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Daniel 5:23d
"From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.'" Acts 17:26-28
- I am confident He has an eternal purpose and plan
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace." Isaiah 55:9-12
When troubles and trials come. And, come they will. My first instinct is NOT to thank God. Instead, I panic. I don't understand or like what has happened. In fact, often, I strongly disagree. And, I want to yell, "Why, God? Why?"
But, then! Then, I remember truths like Isaiah 43:1-2 But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.'"
This summer, when the waves of hardship crashed upon our shores, I turned my heart to praise. I set my mind on the One in whom I placed my complete trust! The One who sees the whole picture, beginning to end. I turned my heart to the One Whose Kingdom I pray will come and His Will be done. I rightly placed my faith and focus back on the One Who is always with me. I chose to give thanks to God! And, as I did, peace came!
Dear reader, I have struggled to write this post for weeks. Simple as it seems, I long to communicate with you that there is tremendous power in the practice of praise! So, my prayer is this: when trials and troubles come your way, that you will remember to turn your heart to the One who is trustworthy and say, "Thank you, Lord! For truly my hope is in You!"