There seems to be a relationship between faith and gratitude. When we are grateful in all circumstances, we are displaying faith. Even though we cannot understand why certain difficulties are crossing our path, and even though we are suffering because of it, we trust God because He knows all things, and His Word promises us that His plans are always to prosper us. He will make all things work together for good because we love Him (Romans 8:28).
When we give thanks to the Lord in all circumstances, we acknowledge His presence and sovereignty in our lives. We are saying more than “thank you” with our mouths. We are in effect saying, “Lord, I trust that, even though I do not understand why this is happening, You know the end from the beginning and have my best interest at heart.”
Hebrews 12:7 says, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” It reminds me of when I was growing up. As with any young child, I needed to be disciplined from time to time. My mom believed in a spanking when the situation called for it, and she used to tell us that she was disciplining us because she loved us. I never could understand it then, because it was painful and did not feel as if it could benefit me in any way at the time. Today I am so grateful that I had a mom who loved me enough to correct me, teach me right from wrong and bring me up in the ways of the Lord. In hindsight it makes perfect sense!
It is easy to be grateful when we feel that things are well with us. However, if we choose to give thanks in the midst of difficulties, it is sacrificial thanksgiving, and it brings pleasure to the Lord. A friend recently encouraged me with this truth in James 1:2-4: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” When we count it all joy, and we see difficulties as opportunities to grow our faith and to perfect us, it will become opportunities for thanksgiving in the midst of trials. Initially it may take a conscious effort on our part, but in time a grateful heart will strengthen our faith and trust in God.
Psalm 50:23 says, “He who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honours and glorifies Me.” Thanksgiving in the midst of hardship is a beautiful offering that honours the Lord. Be determined to ensure that your difficult season becomes an opportunity to expand and grow a grateful heart that will bring honour and delight to the Lord – in ALL circumstances.
Prayer: Lord, I am so sorry for complaining so easily when I face difficulties and challenging seasons. Thank you for reminding me that You want to use it to grow and strengthen my faith and trust in You. I want to honour and glorify You when life is easy and when life is troublesome – in all circumstances! Amen.
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