Give thanks in all circumstances.
I'm just now understanding what this means. I heard this verse a million times. heck, it's even at the top of my page. Whenever I read verses on thanksgiving, I just thought it was a "count your blessings" kind of thing to realize how much God has given to me. While this is true, I have just learned the beauty of giving thanks in every. single. circumstance. It's so easy to do in good times...bad ones are a different story. Anyone in a bad situation can say "thanks God for putting me here because I know you have a purpose for it." But what about gut wrenching, bring you to your knees, painful circumstances where you doubt God's presence? We've all been there. And if not, then it's coming.
I have such a hard time truly and genuinely lifting up my hands and thanking my God in those times. Or even the times that aren't so painful, but just exhausting. Rarely can I, in that moment, stop and thank God with a pure heart. I say it but deep down I'm doing it because I'm supposed to.
Recently, though, God has been reshaping my view of giving thanks. Opening my eyes to see that it's giving Him thanks in every circumstance that allows us to get the focus off of ourselves and onto something constant, unchanging, and dependable. His promises. By giving him thanks we are acknowledging not only our blessings, but His sovereignty. When I truly believe in God and His promises for my life, how can I not genuinely praise Him in every situation? (that's a rhetorical question because obviously I'm a sinner who unfortunately has many times of unbelief)
Paul was way ahead of me when he wrote in Philippians- "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
No matter how broken we are by our current circumstance, nothing exalts His name more than one of his children humbly and faithfully coming to Him with thanksgiving. Even thanking Him for the little things.
Today, I'm thankful for-
-early morning workouts with a friend
-oatmeal with fresh strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries
-eyes to see the beautiful, bright sun
-the stillness of an empty house
-time to sit, reflect, and blog