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Summary: This message encourages all of us to thank God even in the midst of difficult times.

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"How To Be Thankful In Hard Times"

"And He took the cup, and gave thanks..."

"And He took bread and gave thanks..."

Luke 22:17 & 19

Introduction-

Notice that the words which I just read were

spoken by our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, in the

context of His soon coming passion. He was only

a short time away from being betrayed, mocked,

beaten, spit upon, and eventually murdered. Not

only this, but He would also endure intense spirit-

ual agony. Yet, knowing all this, He still found

reasons to give thanks. He was thankful in the

most horrible of times imaginable. But, as Charles

Spurgeon once put it, "There was a majesty in the

misery," a "glory in the shame." He died like a

King, for He was the King of kings and Lord of

lords. No greater love and humility has ever been

manifested.

Perhaps you are going through difficult times

now. It is Thanksgiving season, and you wonder

how you can rejoice and be thankful, because you

are hurting. Maybe it is financial adversity. I

don’t know if you notice it or not, but our nation

is becoming more and more insensitive to hurting,

poor people. Just today I watched as a black wo-

man was going to be soon thrown out of her apart-

ment, because FEMA will not longer pay for the

place to stay. She has nowhere to go. She is

unhappy, and looking with a bleak outlook on life.

For Christmas, she said there would be no gifts,

with tears. Credit cards, I hear, are about to

double what people have to pay on their monthly

amount. Groceries are going up in price. Heating

cost will go sky high. A threatened "bird flu"

is on the horizon. Storms, unemployment, down-

sizing, removal of benefits for workers, and the

loss of retirement income. Need I go on? We are

in a mess!!! And, it seems that it will only get

worse, and the rich will get richer, and who cares

about the poor and needy! Maybe you are facing

psychological burdens, mistreatment, or catastrophic

illness. There is the threat of terrorism, and the

war in Iraq. The sufferings of mankind are en-

ormous. Doesn’t anybody care? Yes, I know One who

does, and that is our Creator. Suffering is hard

to understand. But even harder to understand than

why we suffer is why Jesus, the Perfect, Spotless,

Lamb of God had to suffer. He did so, because He

loved us, and provided salvation for all who will

believe. How can we be thankful in difficult times?

I. First, WE CAN BE THANKFUL IF OUR SUFFERING IS

ACCOMPLISHING SOME GREATER GOOD.

Jesus, for the joy set before Him, in saving His

people from their sins, endured the shame,and the

sufferings of the cross.

The greater good was our deliverance from sin,

and our assurance of Heaven.

If we have served God, and helped others with our

life, then it was not been in vain. Jesus came

not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and

to give His life a ransom for all.

II. Secondly, WE CAN BE THANKFUL IF WE ARE IN THE

CENTER OF GOD’S WILL.

This was certainly true of Jesus, and it should

also be true of us. He was exactly where He was

predestined to be. Just because you suffer it

doesn’t mean that God is angry with you, or has


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