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devotional: day 8

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Paul, writing to the Church at Thessalonica, gives a litany of practical advice on how to live your faith out loud. This verse is packed with counsel on pleasing God. If you are not careful you, as a man, can become ungrateful and take for granted all the good things God has done and is doing for you. Practicing this verse helps you to guard against that. Let’s dissect these words and apply them to daily life.

Notice Paul said, “In everything,” not “for everything.” What is the difference? It would be hard to be thankful for everything that happens because there are things that happen that are evil and tragic. However, “In” everything implies that no matter what happens, you can thank God for how He will use it for His glory, for good in the world and for your growth personally. It has nothing to do with feelings, it has everything to do with a choice you make. You choose to be thankful in all things, knowing that only God can bring something eternally significant out of your circumstances or situation.

When you choose to be thankful, you announce that although the problem or circumstance you are facing is bigger than you are, it is not bigger than God. A thankful spirit is your way of releasing your situation to God’s control. Thankfulness is about you turning control of your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice, thankfulness is God’s will. Whenever you are thankful, you are in the center of God’s will. You can do this because of Jesus Christ, the One Who faced the worst possible circumstance and overcame it on the third day.

What is the most difficult issue you are facing right now? What is it you are struggling with or battling? There is something you can do.

Daily Do It

Today, do these two things:

1.   Make a list of the three people who have most influenced you, and thank God for them. Contact them today someway, and tell them how much they mean to you.

2.   List the most difficult issue you are facing right now. Write it out. Then, start thanking God for how He is going to bring glory to Himself through it, growth to you and good to the world.

Quote of the Day

“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