Thursday, November 24, 2011
Read | Colossians 3:15-17
Have you ever noticed that some Bible verses seem easier to memorize than to put into practice? One that immediately comes to mind—especially during the Thanksgiving season—is “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). That word “everything” is challenging because there are situations when we do not feel particularly grateful. There are troubles we face that negatively affect every aspect of life, stealing joy and taking our focus off the Savior.
Over the years there have even been times when I’ve walked out onto the platform as the church service began and my heart was somewhere else. I was as prepared mentally and spiritually as I could be to preach the message—but emotionally, I was struggling with some devastating issue.
It was through those moments that I experienced something extraordinary. As the orchestra played and the congregation began to sing, my heart would respond to the words of those hymns. Psalm 22:3tells us that the Lord is enthroned in our praises, so we are wise to give Him thanks “in everything”—even the toughest circumstances. Doing so changed my focus from the adversity I was facing to God’s awesome character, provision, and love. Suddenly my troubles did not seem so overwhelming.
Scripture encourages us always to voice our gratitude to the Lord, no matter what we’re facing. Why? Because when we focus on God instead of the problem, we realize, He’s already given us victory. You may have to remind yourself repeatedly, but you will benefit greatly from the peace that awaits.