“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV)
“God says to give thanks in everything. That doesn’t mean you need to give thanks FOR everything. You don’t need to give thanks FOR that bad day. Or FOR that bad relationship. Or being passed over at work. Financial hardship. Whatever it is – you are not to give thanks FOR the difficulties, but rather IN the difficulties. That is a very important distinction, and one I think we often miss. Giving thanks IN everything shows a heart of faith that God is bigger than the difficulties and that He can use them, if you approach Him with the right heart and spirit, for your good and His glory.” (Tony Evans)
Tony Evans provides much wisdom for us in making the distinction between ‘for’ and ‘in’. He reminds us when we give thanks IN the difficulty, it shows a heart of faith. We are reminded of the bigness of our God.
And who are we showing our heart of faith? The enemy.
Our heart of faith shows the enemy that we are trusting in the bigness of our God. We are also showing the enemy how small he truly is, and that he holds no power over our lives.
Our God, who is with us, is bigger than any difficulties any of us may face.
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” (Psalm 95:1-2, NIV)
Almost every morning, as I read a portion of Scripture, a song comes to me.
As a kid, my parents would drive to concerts no matter how far they had to go. We never stayed overnight in hotels. Dad would drive us home. But so many Saturdays were spent attending a concert. Songs are still in my head that I would never expect. The lyrics come back like it was yesterday that I last heard them.
“God inhabits the praise of His people,
It’s been that way right from the start.
But the only way God will take our praise,
is if we do it with all of our hearts.
So I’m gonna give Him the best that I’ve got
I’m gonna praise Him with all of my might.”
Our God inhabits the praise of His people,
which means when we praise God,
our hearts will be able to give thanks in everything.
** The old song that returned this morning 🙂