Summary: In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God........
This Is The Will Of God
1 Thess 5:18, 2 Cor 11:23-28
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
When we think of the experiences of the Apostle Paul, it makes this verse even more precious to us.
Notice with me 2 Cor 11:23-28
In spite of all the sufferings of the Apostle Paul, he was still able to give thanks to the Lord. How ? Because he knew that it was the will of God that he be thankful ! Did you get that ? It is the will of God that we be thankful in all things, in every situation !
Let me confess to you. I have difficulties in this area. Now, I can be thankful when the heavens are opened up, and God’s blessings rain down upon me, and when everything is going well, and when there are no bumps in the road ! But when problems come, I am more likely to complain. When things don’t go my way, I am more likely to whine than to give thanks !
It is a easy thing for us to be thankful when all is well, but how about in other circumstances. That’s what I want us to focus on this morning. If it is the will of God that we be thankful in everything, then God will certainly help us to be able to do that ! We may not be able to change our afflictions, but we can change our attitude or the way that we react during difficult times ! Let me share some ways that we can be thankful in everything.
When difficulties come we can give thanks........
1. By remembering they are temporary !
The Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something to be thankful for. One Sunday morning, the weather was stormy. And dark. And one of the deacons said, "The preacher won’t be able to thank God for anything on a day like this. It’s absolutely horrible outside!" But much to his surprise, Rev. Whyte began the service by praying, "We thank thee, O God, that it is not always like this."
Remember when storms come that it is not always like this ! There are far more days without storms than with them ! If we count our blessings, I believe they will far exceed our burdens and our blight ! Paul said it this way........" For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
When difficulties come we can give thanks.........
2. By remembering they are testimonial.
2 Thess 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions !
Phil 1:25 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;
The difficulties that we endure in this life are not only a opportunity for us to mature, they are not only teaching us, but God may be using them in us so that others might be taught !
Some of the greatest lessons about the Lord, and his grace have been taught to me by the way people I have known have reacted in their suffering !
Remember in your time of pain that you have a opportunity to testify of God’s presence in spite of pain, you can testify of God’s power in spite of pain, and your can testify of God’s promises in spite of pain.
We are preaching a sermon in our time of suffering. What kind of message are we preaching ?
Illust. Burnette Family
It was 1636, in the midst of the darkness of the Thirty Years’ War. A German pastor, Martin Rinkart, is said to have buried five thousand of his parishioners in that one year. This was an average of fifteen funerals a day. His parish was ravaged by war, death, and economic disaster. In the heart of that darkness, with the cries of fear outside his window, he sat down and wrote this table grace for his children:
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;