In All Things Give Thanks

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It was our first year of marriage.

As we boarded the plane after our blissful honeymoon, we smiled toward each other whispering sweet things, "Life doesn't get better than this..." and "...I wouldn't trade this moment for the world."

LIFE JUST SEEMED SO PERFECT...ALMOST TOO PERFECT.

Neither one of us had any clue we were about to face a few obstacles that would teach us a thing or two about life.

Shortly after we returned home, my husband’s elderly father turned ill, and he began spending time on and off in the hospital. One moment he was fine, the next moment my husband was consoling his mother because her husband was in agonizing pain.

Simultaneously, we fell into some unexpected financial hardship and began experiencing conflict in the ministry.

Everything happening all at once began to take a toll on us mentally, emotionally and relationally.

I found it so hard to pray, let alone believe. My faith was low and my frustration was at an all time high!

I had nowhere to run. The church, the place where I once found refuge, was the very place I felt the heaviest and most pressurized. I went to work every day but dreaded waking up.

Planned or unplanned, everyday was a battle.

PERHAPS I WAS IN A DEPRESSION; CAUGHT IN A PLACE I WANTED TO ESCAPE BUT JUST DIDN'T KNOW HOW... 

I couldn't speak to anybody. I mean, what would people think? Was I being overly dramatic? And why did I care more about the opinions of others, than God's truth concerning what I was facing? Could I have this all wrong?

During this season, one of the scriptures my husband and I held onto was 1 Thessalonians 5:18. We decided, despite how things may have seemed, we would simply give thanks.

GIVING THANKS IN THE MIDST OF ADVERSITY ENABLES US TO SHIFT OUR FOCUS FROM WHAT IS BEFORE US, OUR SITUATION, TO WHOM WILL DELIVER US.

I can remember Paul and Silas. They were chained and imprisoned, yet still they decided to give God praise. Their praises were lifted up to the heavens and it caused a supernatural reaction. Suddenly, the stones began to shake, and the walls began to fall. Their praise allowed them to focus on God, their Deliverer, rather than their situation. And their faith through their praise moved God to intervene in the midst of their circumstance (Acts 16: 16-40).

PRAISE SHIFTS OUR FOCUS. PRAISE INVITES GOD INTO OUR SITUATION!

Over next several months, even into the second year of our marriage, my husband and I continued to give God thanks, despite of how things appeared. Slowly, we began to experience recovery, not just with his father, but with ministry and also within our marriage.

Looking back, I wouldn't have had it any other way. We learned so much about each other and about life, but also about the faithfulness of God and the power of praise.

Sometimes we’re so quick to pray adversity away, instead of giving God thanks and praise, right in the midst of it.

I challenge you to give God thanks not only in the good times, but also in the bad, so that you may prove the will of God. He truly is faithful!

“…In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 

(1 Thessalonians 5:18)