Giving thanks and praises unto God is so easy to do when everything is coming up roses in one’s life! Praises just flow out of you, like a beautiful waterfall cascading down weather beaten rocks. There’s a smile on your face, pep in your step, and everything is “all good.” Sounds a lot like Thankful Living right? Well, not exactly. You see, Thankful Living is also about giving thanks and praises unto God, even when everything isn’t coming up roses. Sometimes, everything just isn’t “all good.” There is often a misconception, or preconceived notion of how life is going to be after one surrenders their life to Jesus, and is born again, a new creation in Christ Jesus. It is often believed that we will go through life on a flowery bed of ease. What examples did Jesus leave in the Scriptures on this subject?
1.To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to him who judges justly. (I Peter 2:21-22 NIV) 2. Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (I Peter 4:1-2 NIV) 3. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV)
I am usually not very forthcoming when it comes to sharing about the emotional roller coaster that has become a fixture in my life. Pain, depression, and emotional mayhem are my constant companions. Though uninvited, they are always present. Each day seems to bring a different hurdle to be cleared! Often, there are tears streaming down like a drenching rain. Somehow, someway, through it all, I render heartfelt praises of Thanksgiving and Worship to my God! Thankful Living in the midst of the pain, the struggles, and the emotional upheavals are what get me through the storms of life! What about you? It’s believing God, standing firmly on His promises, and praising Him in spite of the the pain in my body. I know I’m not the only one who is going through something. I’m not the only one who is enduring pain, heartache, depression, and the like. If Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God suffered in the flesh, what about us? When I think about all Jesus suffered and endured for our sakes, even when I’m going through, and I just don’t understand it all, I have a praise down in the city of my soul! A praise that carries me through the difficult times. Praise God! But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NIV) Jesus suffered and endured the cross, for the joy that was set before Him! Are you willing to take up your cross and follow Him? I will close with this Scripture: And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (I Peter 5:10 NIV) May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and every day!