Summary: This message encourages all of us to thank God even in the midst of difficult times.
"How To Be Thankful In Hard Times"
"And He took the cup, and gave thanks..."
"And He took bread and gave thanks..."
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
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
forsaken you. He may have some greater good to
bring out through your suffering, for His glory.
His hurt and rejection was part of God’s eternal
salvation plan. God so loved the world, that
He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have
everlasting life." Jn. 3:16
III. Thirdly, WE CAN BE THANKFUL IF WE ARE IN RIGHT
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
Jesus once told His disciples not to rejoice be-
cause they had the power to heal and cast our
demons, but to rejoice, rather, because their
names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
He always pleased the Father. He fisnished the
work God sent Him into the world to do. It was
"mission accomplished", when it looked like it
was "mission impossible." Salvation is a free
gift, but it came at great cost to God. It
cost the blood of His only-begotten Son.
IV. Fourthly, WE CAN BE THANKFUL IF WE HAVE LEFT
BEHIND AN EXAMPLE WORTHY OF BEING FOLLOWED.
We are to walk "in His steps." He blazed the
path before us, and showed us all how life was
meant to be lived.
V. Fifthly, and finally, WE CAN BE THANKFUL IF
WE HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL TO GOD UNTO THE END.
"Having loved His own which were in the world,
He loved them unto the end." Jesus could have