- How to Pray to Change Lives – Part One
- How to Pray to Change Lives – Part Two
- How to Pray About Your Problems – Part One
- How to Pray About Your Problems – Part Two
- How to Pray About Your Problems – Part Three
- How to Pray About Your Problems – Part Four
- How to Pray to Change Your Attitude – Part One
- How to Pray to Change Your Attitude – Part Two
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
This devotion is a continuation from Part One in How to Pray to Change Your Attitude. Please read the introduction in Part One. The following was presented in Part One:
I. Why Should We Give Thanks To God In Everything (Or In All Circumstances)?
There are four reasons why we should give thanks to God in all circumstances:
- When we are giving thanks to God, we are telling God that we are aware of His continual presence.
- When we are Giving Thanks to God, we are announcing to God that we are Dependent on Him.
- When we are giving thanks to God, we are saying: God, we Trust You.
- When we are giving thanks to God, we are telling God that we understand what He is Doing in our lives.
In this devotion, Part Two, the following is presented:
II. Give Thanks to God, for He is Working in Our Lives through Our Circumstances.
This is what I find beautiful about the Word of God. God’s Word is a guidebook for all of life. We do an injustice to what God wants us to know when we become satisfied with only learning a few select passages and call ourselves Bible scholars. God wants us to understand the entire counsel of His Word. The relationship that we have with God, and the character that God is building in us, come as a result of His on-going work in our lives.
The Apostle Paul said best in (Philippians 1:6) “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” God has started something in our lives, and what He started He is going to finish. God does not do a halfway job. According to (Romans 8:29) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
For that to happen, we need to understand God’s work in our Lives.
First: God works in “all things” to bring about good.
We read in (1Th 5:18) ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
And we read in (Rom 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” We love to hear Paul use the words “all things.” In this passage, we learn that God is at work in all things to bring about good.
Now here is the key. If I am going to be able to thank God for all things, I need to be able to see God in all things. If I do not see God in all things, I am not going to thank God in all things. The key to being able to thank God in all things is the understanding that God is working in the painful situations of life for good. We need to know and understand the context of this Scripture.
In the Eighth Chapter of Romans, Paul talks about our eternal good, as well as our temporal good. We need to understand that the work which God is doing in our lives is for our eternal good, not just our temporal good. We fail to understand that our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. And the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which is to be revealed in us (2 Corinthians 4:17, Romans 8:18). We have no problem believing God’s involvement in our life during the good times. But the Bible teaches us that God is involved in all areas of our life. If you don’t believe that God is actively involved in all areas of your life, then you will not be thankful for long.
You see these verses link up beautifully to teach us a wonderful truth: I am to be thankful in all things. Why? Because my God, Who is in charge of my life, is causing all things to work together for good. So therefore, whether I feel like it or not, whether I understand it or not, whether I can comprehend what God is up to or not – I can still give thanks. Why? Because God is up to something good no matter what.
I know there are some people who don’t think God has time to fool with them. But God is involved in every single area of your life. He promised never to leave you or forsake you. And if God has promised never to leave or forsake you, then He must be involved in every single thing you are involved in, because He is living on the inside of you. He says, “I am abiding in you.” And if God is living on the inside of His children, then He must be involved in everything His children are involved in. He is not in Heaven as a distant observer. No, the Bible teaches that we can have an intimate relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.
Second: God works in all things in our lives to bring about His purpose.
(Eph 1:11) “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” Now, let’s put all these things together. We are to thank God for all things. God is working all things together for good. Now, the Bible says in this verse, that He is working out all things after the counsel of His will.
So what can we learn here? We can sleep well at night, knowing that God is working in our life to achieve His will. It does not matter if it is good or bad, God will achieve His will through it. I can either submit to God’s will and get better – or I can get bitter and hostile.
Third: God’s work in our lives is to bring all of us to Salvation.
(2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God’s method of bringing people to repentance and salvation will be different. For some it may be a Sunday morning message by the pastor. For others it might be a worship song that makes God’s presence a reality that can be felt by the sinner; and they know that they are in the presence of a Holy and Righteous God. Yet for others it may be something good that may have happened to them. And still there are those that experience something catastrophic in their lives.
God may not be the cause of these circumstances, but he can – and does – use them to serve His ultimate purpose, and that is to bring people to repentance and salvation. God wants to have a relationship with each of us. He wants us to experience His love for us.
Let us give thanks to God in all things, because He is working these things out for good. Let us pray that our attitudes will change to reflect a heart of thanksgiving.