In Everything Give Thanks

by Peg Rhone

There are many trials in life. How we deal with those trial is tantamount to the trial itself, because the trial is the trying of our faith.

I Peter 1:6,7
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

The only way we FAIL the trial is to lose our faith in God, to turn away from His divine help. That is why we need to give thanks to Him, to worship God, in the midst of our trial.

I Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

This verse does not say to give thanks FOR everything, but IN every thing. The Greek word for “thanks” is eucharisteo, which means to express gratitude. The point is that we can still be thankful to God IN every situation. Even if you are having one of your darkest days, and it seems like your whole world is collapsing, you can still thank God for His gift of eternal life, you can still thank God that you are not alone in your trial, you can still thank God for all of His wonderful goodness that He has expressed to mankind throughout the ages. That is why:

When the pressure is on we need to WORSHIP not WORRY!

As we worship God and thank Him for His goodness and acknowledge His majesty, we can have the full confidence that He is with us no matter what happens.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

My husband Chris is a very large man, six foot three and quite muscular. I feel much more confident in my physical safety when he is with me, especially in some bad parts of the city. Needless to say, I feel even MORE confident knowing that the Lord God Almighty is with me in a situation, and so should you.

But we need to understand that when we go to God in prayer, that He will answer that prayer in His way. Many of us will confess that we believe that God is “large and in charge” but when it comes right down to it, we try to control how God responds to us through our “faith”. I use that word in quotes because genuine faith means to TRUST God, not to try and control Him to do my bidding. I am not God! And neither are you! He sees things that we do not see, and He responds as He should, because He is God.

Isaiah 55:8,9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We are going to look at two situations where supplication was made. In the first one the desired request was not met, in the second one it was, but in both situations God did not forsake them, nor leave them alone to cope with it.

When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemene, he prayed to his Father three times for there to be some other way besides brutal torture and death for him to redeem mankind. His soul was “exceeding sorrowful.” Frankly, this is a kind of pressure that I cannot even relate to.

Matthew 26:38,39
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: … O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

But for Christ, that cup could not pass. God knew the whole picture, and this was something that the Messiah had to go through. But, God did not leave him alone to face his agony. God sent an angel to strengthen him.

Luke 22:43
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

The second example is in the Old Testament. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to obey the king’s commandment to worship him, because to obey the king meant they would have to disobey God. When the king challenged them for their refusal to obey him they did not hesitate to respond to his threat.

Daniel 3:16-18
O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, … we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Put yourself in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s sandals. They certainly wanted God to deliver them from the fiery furnace, and they knew He was able, but at that time they did not know what the outcome would be. They placed themselves totally in God’s hands. That is true worship – absolute trust! They made their request known unto God, and then trusted in Him completely.

You know the rest of the story – they were mightily delivered! In their deliverance there was a “fourth man” in the furnace, an angel of the Lord to help them. In both examples we see that no matter what the result of the supplication, the Lord strengthened them because of their faith in Him. That is why:

When the pressure is on we need to WORSHIP not DOUBT!

In Philippians the apostle Paul said that he was “instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” God’s answer to our supplication may not be exactly what we want to receive at the time, nevertheless, he said “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

The NLT reads as follows:

Philippians 4:6,7,13
Don’ worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace…
For I can do everything with the help of Christ who give me the strength I need.

Our battles in life are not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12), and we don’t win them through the flesh and blood. We are to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

I have seen many, many miracles in my lifetime. At other times, when I would wish to see one, it is not there. I do not question why? I know that the Lord is with me, either way, and that I can be thankful for all that He has already done for me. I continue to trust in His will.

Proverbs 3:5-7
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Many times someone will blame God when life does not work out the way they desire. Especially in those times, we need to be thankful and to worship God, because grievous sins can creep in if we are talked into turning our back on Him. That is why Proverbs warns us to depart from evil.

All too often, when we get stressed out, the next thing you know we are: getting drunk, or looking at pornography, or over eating, or talking badly about someone else in order to make ourselves feel better. Works of the flesh will NEVER bring peace and deliverance into our lives. That is why:

When the pressure is on we need to WORSHIP not SIN!

It is all about the trial of our faith. The devil loves to get you to doubt God! He loves to get you to sin, just a little, so that your faith is hindered. Often times during your trial the thought will come, “Oh do it. It’s just a little sin, and you’ll feel so much better if you do this! It will relieve your stress!”

“Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (I Cor. 5:6) DO YOU ever feel better when you disobey God? NO! And in that state of disobedience, your confidence towards God is virtually nonexistent. When you are feeling shame and guilt you don’t think He should answer your prayer. That’s quite a mess!

That is why, when the pressure is on we need to be thankful, to worship, to press hard into God. We need to fear God and depart from evil. God is our deliverer, our shield and our protector. He will never allow us to be tempted above what we are able to endure.

I Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I Peter 1:6,7
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

II Corinthians 4:17,18
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…

That is why:

When the pressure is on we need to WORSHIP!
We can give thanks in every thing.

This is how life works. “In everything you can give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” No matter what the outcome of the trial here on earth, your faith will be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.