‘Rejoice always.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:16 NKJV
Ever find yourself asking, ‘Why me, Lord? How come You don’t answer my prayers? Why doesn’t Your Word work for me like it does for others?’ Well-meaning friends tell you to keep your chin up, things will get better, but you can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. And just when you think things can’t get any worse, you pick up your Bible and read, ‘Rejoice always… in everything give thanks’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NKJV), as if you’re supposed to enjoy your situation!
Alexander Maclaren said, ‘Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.’ The fact is, however, when life overwhelms you the last thing you feel like doing is giving thanks, right?
But as Nancy Leigh DeMoss observes: ‘Unless you just love the way duty feels when it wakes you at three in the morning, or hijacks your plans for your day off, or hands you an unexpected bill that wasn’t in the budget… don’t try living the Christian life without gratitude. By sheer willpower and effort you may succeed at “gutting out” right responses, but your Christianity (so-called) will be hollow, hard-edged, and uninviting… If all our faith had to offer were words that only fit in a theological textbook, it would be unkind to extend them to someone struggling to survive. True Christ-centred, grace-motivated gratitude fits life’s most desperate moments and difficult situations. When there are no answers, it gives hope. It transforms overwhelmed strugglers into triumphant conquerors… Gratitude is a hard-fought, grace-infused, Biblical lifestyle… and [its] transforming power is reserved for those who know and acknowledge the Giver of every good gift, and who are recipients of His redeeming grace.’
SoulFood: 1 Sam 24–26, John 1:29–42, Ps 131, Pro 23:1–3
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023