Monday, December 19, 2011

In all circumstances.....

...Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus..1Thess. 5:16  In the Message it reads...Thank God no matter what happens, this is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

I read this verse the other day and thought, UGH.  Seriously?  Give thanks no matter what happens?  In all circumstances?  Obviously He does not know what I am dealing with today.  Then I notice that it doesn't say 'Give thanks FOR all circumstances,' or 'Thank God FOR what happens,' but IN all circumstances and NO MATTER WHAT happens. 

See, we don't have to like what happens, and we certainly aren't going to like every circumstance that comes our way.  I think sometimes as Christians we think that life is going to be all rainbows and cupcakes.  That if God loves us, then why in the world did ____________ (insert issue) happen?  Life is life.  It is going to be great, and then just a quickly it can be bad.  Sometimes our own choices bring things upon ourselves that wouldn't have happened if we had just trusted or sought the Lord.  But life is life.  It is all in how you respond to the stuff that matters.

And this is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.  It is His will that we be thankful in all circumstances, no matter what happens.  We don't have to like it, but we do need to choose to be thankful in it.  It really is not an option.  This is the way we are to live if we are choosing to be His children.  Be thankful that we have a personal Savior who is more than willing to walk every step of the way with us.  Be thankful that no matter what has happened, it is not a surprise to the Lord, and He already knows the steps we are to take, He already knows the way out.  It may  not be in the time frame that we want, or the exact way that we would choose, but He knows.  All we need to do is trust Him and be thankful that we can. 

I have a friend who walks closer to the Lord than anyone I know.  He was recently diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.  He embodies this verse.  His facebook post after diagnosis was this:
Hey, if I could choose what stage cancer God was going to cure me from it would be the most vile, hopeless, impossible cancer to hope for a cure, because He can do much much more than our limited thinking is even set to understand. I don't want to limit His potential In my thinking. I wait on His Mighty Hand to do His Will as He sees fit. Come Lord Jesus and reveal your will and your way. Be Glorified in me!
He is fighting the cancer,  yet incredibly thankful for his position in life.  If he lives, he lives longer with his wife, his kids and his grandchildren.  He gets to share Christ with teenagers in the Myrtle Beach area, seeing them come to that point in their life where they trust Jesus like John trusts Jesus.  If he dies, He gets to live with Jesus.

In all circumstances, give thanks.