TUESDAY, MAY 5
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)
THE POWER OF GRATITUDE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
The cowboy lay sprawled across three entire seats in the posh Amarillo theatre. When the usher came by and noticed this he whispered to the cowboy: “Sorry, sir, but you’re only allowed one seat.” The cowboy groaned but didn’t budge. The usher became more impatient. “Sir, if you don’t get up from there, I’m going to have to call the manager.” The cowboy just groaned. The usher marched briskly back up the aisle. In a moment he returned with the manager. Together the two of them tried repeatedly to move the cowboy, but with no success. Finally, they summoned the police. The cop surveyed the situation briefly then asked, “All right buddy, what’s your name?” “Sam,” the cowboy moaned. “Where ya from, Sam?” With pain in his voice Sam replied…. “The balcony.”
All circumstances are not good circumstances. Ruth Bell Graham said, “We can’t always give thanks FOR everything, but we can always give thanks IN everything.” And in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 we are not told to be grateful FOR everything but we are told to be grateful IN everything.
The power and presence of God in our lives make it possible to live a life grateful to Him no matter what is going on around us. King David boldly declared, “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” (Psalm 34:1) Everything in David’s life wasn’t all good but he chose to praise God at all times. Gratitude and praise comes down to a choice. God will not force us to be grateful but has done more than enough in our lives to give us a constant reason to be grateful.
Have you made a choice to praise God IN your circumstances? If so, write a list of challenging circumstances you are facing and in front of each item write: “I will bless the Lord even when _________.” Fill in the blank with the circumstances you listed as challenging.