Friday February 17, 2006
A Tough Command
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Some verses are easier to memorize than practice. If we could simply remove a word or two, God’s command would feel doable. Giving thanks is easy, but giving thanks in everything is a nearly impossible task. Often gratitude seems inappropriate, considering the depth of pain or turmoil we are experiencing. But we have a Comforter who helps us exercise thankfulness in every situation.
The Holy Spirit helps believers to do what God requires, and part of His work involves teaching us a gratitude habit. Psalm 92:1-2 tells us that since “it is good to give thanks to the Lord,” we ought to “declare [God’s] lovingkindness in the morning, and [His] faithfulness by night.” In other words, we should regularly anticipate and recall His provision. But when believers awaken to painful circumstances that have no logical reason for thankfulness, our Comforter provides the motivation and words. Thanksgiving during turmoil takes place neither spontaneously nor apart from another spiritual activity — prayer. Today’s passage links the disciplines of rejoicing, prayer, and thanksgiving: both exultation and gratitude hinge upon regular communication with God. A prayerless man cannot remain thankful for long because he is too overwhelmed by his problems. Talking with God forces problems to recede so they can be replaced by peace.
The Lord commands us to exercise gratitude because He knows the spirit is lifted and courage strengthened when we focus on His work in our life. And as we watch Him intervene, we rejoice more, pray harder, and learn to give thanks in everything.
|In Touch Ministries invites you to celebrate your love for God this month and receive our free offer of a set of two "Love Letter to God" cards. Register for your cards today and receive a free CD of Dr. Stanley's message "A Life of Love."|