Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Know...I Don't Always Want to Either

Ever try to reduce things to their lowest element? Like taking a complicated problem and trying to find out what’s at the core of the issue? American educator, Alexander Meiklejohn, said, “There is, I think, nothing in the world more futile than the attempt to find out how a task should be done when one has not yet decided what the task is.” That’s like heading into battle without knowing who your enemy is. The facts aren’t clear. They’re congested by too much information and not enough clarity.
Boiling water in pot
Paul told the Thessalonians, “to give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you.” For most folks that’s asking way too much. “I can’t give thanks until I’m out from under my circumstances.”  Paul saw circumstances reduced to their lowest element—an opportunity for God to accomplish His purpose in our lives.

If all the rest of scripture is true that God is good and will accomplish what concerns me, then my current circumstance fits underneath those intentions. As unpleasant and hurtful as today is, it still fits within His intentions to bring His goodness into my life.
Faith that is seen isn’t faith. If I have to wait until my circumstances end to give thanks, my thanks isn’t an expression of faith. In fact by that time I ought not to be giving thanks but confessing my sin of rebellion against God’s intentions because of my doubt. I give thanks at all times…in the midst of my circumstances and again at the end and between the end of these and the beginning of the next. I continually express my confidence that God is vitally connected to my life.

If I cannot thank God for today, regardless of today’s circumstances, then how can I thank Him for tomorrow after today’s trials are over? God is not waiting until the last minute to rescue me. He is actively engaged in the whole process of deliverance. I must recognize that. I’m not alone. He has not left me to work these things out by myself. I’m not being punished. He has not forsaken me. He’s not waiting for this to be over to step in and get the credit. He’s my present help in time of trouble.
Give thanks with a grateful heart, not for the circumstances, but because of the circumstances. For God is at work accomplishing great things in your life!