Take It With You 11.07.2021

Is it really possible to be thankful in all circumstances? When the tumor is malignant, when we lose a loved one way too early, or when someone we love continues to choose an undesirable path?  How about when we’ve prayed earnestly for a baby and there’s yet another miscarriage, or when we lose a job unexpectedly? Can we be thankful in all circumstances when we don’t get in the college we had planned, or when a relationship ends that we were certain was forever?  Be thankful, even when healing doesn’t happen? Be thankful in ALL circumstances, when yet something else breaks that wasn’t in our budget to fix, or when a pandemic takes our jobs, our loved ones, and churches and schools as we know them? The list goes on and on with hurts both big and small.

I’ve always claimed the verses in Philippians 4:6-7 as a “go to” for anxious situations, but after studying Max Lucado’s “Be Anxious for Nothing,” the with Thanksgiving portion of those verses became the most important part to me.  Naming out loud the things that ARE good about a trying situation helps us to focus on giving thanks 

Philippians 4:6-7 (bold added)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 specifically says to, GIVE thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It may be difficult to be thankful at times, but it IS possible to GIVE thanks during trials because it is God’s will that we do so through Jesus. 

I’m reminded of words by Henry Smith that our Snyder Ladies Ensemble sang years ago:
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us, Give thanks.

May we give thanks in all circumstances because of Jesus.
After all, He gave everything for us!

~ Kerri Hurley