Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Giving Thanks in All Things
Read | Colossians 3:15-17
Have you ever noticed that some Bible verses seem easier to memorize than to put into practice? One that immediately comes to mind—especially during the Thanksgiving season—is “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). That word “everything” is challenging because there are situations when we do not feel particularly grateful. There are troubles we face that negatively affect every aspect of life, stealing joy and taking our focus off the Savior.
Over the years there have even been times when I’ve walked out onto the platform as the church service began and my heart was somewhere else. I was as prepared mentally and spiritually as I could be to preach the message—but emotionally, I was struggling with some devastating issue.
It was through those moments that I experienced something extraordinary. As the orchestra played and the congregation began to sing, my heart would respond to the words of those hymns. Psalm 22:3 tells us that the Lord is enthroned in our praises, so we are wise to give Him thanks “in everything”—even the toughest circumstances. Doing so changed my focus from the adversity I was facing to God’s awesome character, provision, and love. Suddenly my troubles did not seem so overwhelming.
Scripture encourages us always to voice our gratitude to the Lord, no matter what we’re facing. Why? Because when we focus on God instead of the problem, we realize, He’s already given us victory. You may have to remind yourself repeatedly, but you will benefit greatly from the peace that awaits.
Not Carnality but Christ
1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Character of the New Man
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The Christian Home
18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.