by Tim Hall
Christians have a secret for helping them through times of trouble.
The sky this morning is clear and a vibrant blue. The sunshine is bright and temperatures are pleasant. I give thanks to God for these conditions. Would I do the same if it were rainy, cold and overcast?
Gratitude comes easily when our health is good and our finances are in the black. When problems arise, however, our focus turns to those negatives. We find it difficult, if not impossible, to thank God during such times.
A story has been told about Matthew Henry, famous commentator on the Bible. On one occasion he was robbed. He was known for being grateful, but how would he react to this cloudy day?
In his diary, Henry wrote the following: “Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my wallet they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
Paul’s directive in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 is clear: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (NKJV). His instruction in Philippians 4:6 is aimed toward times of trouble, but note again the presence of thanksgiving: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
Why is thanksgiving given prominence in God’s plan? Because it provides perspective, a point of view I need during times of struggle. When I kneel in prayer to ask for help in my present crisis, thanksgiving will remind me that God has blessed me in the past. If he came through for me then, will he not be faithful to come to my side now?
November is the month for the holiday known as Thanksgiving. For Christians every day should be an occasion of gratitude to God.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Be thankful to him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).
by Tim Hall