17
Nov
15

THOUGHTS ON THANKS: TRIALS

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 It seems a bit odd that, when looking at this verse, one would point to thanking God for trials, when the scripture plainly says, “in everything give thanks.” Born-again believers should absolutely thank God for the good things that He gives us in our lives. It is easy to do that when all around us looks like pretty flowers, butterflies and sunshine. But on the flip side of the coin, we should also thank God for the things that don’t seem so good. Giving thanks in both of these circumstances is “God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
 James taught us that we should be joyful when we encounter various trials and adversities (James 1:2). Notice that he did not say that we should be happy, but that we should be joyful. Happiness is a temporary emotion. We can be happy now, sad in a few minutes, then be angry. Our emotions always change. But being joyful is meant to be a deeper attitude that we possess as adopted children of God. Being joyful is meant to be a more permanent state of mind, while happiness is meant to reflect a temporary emotion.
 James went on to assert that trials produce endurance (James 1:3). This means that we can stick close to God through thick and thin. While we may waver and question, we will always seek God for comfort, strength, and peace. And let us not forget that endurance eventually better perfects us to do the work of God with more confidence (James 1:4).
 A fine example is that of Job, who had lost everything, but was still able to proclaim, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. Then Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Let us strive to have the endurance through trials to keep thanking God for what He has done, and for what He is going to do.

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