Gratitude in the Storms of Life

Daily Devotional.
InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley

Thursday, September 30, 2010
Read1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Day of the Lord
 1Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.  2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  3While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.  4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;  5for you are all sons of light and sons of day We are not of night nor of darkness;  6so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and [a]sober.  7For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  8But since we are of the day, let us be [b]sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  9For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,  10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.  11Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
Christian Conduct
 12But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,  13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.  14We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  15See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.  16Rejoice always;  17pray without ceasing;  18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  19Do not quench the Spirit;  20do not despise prophetic [c]utterances.  21But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;  22abstain from every [d]form of evil.  23Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  24Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.  25Brethren, pray for us[e].  26Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.  27I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.  28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
Footnotes:
1 Thessalonians 5:6 Or self-controlled
1 Thessalonians 5:8 Or self-controlled
1 Thessalonians 5:20 Or gifts
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Or appearance
1 Thessalonians 5:25 Two early mss add also

If you are not in a difficult time, you likely will encounter one soon. Jesus promised that we will have many hardships in this life (John 16:33). And was He right!

As unpleasant as trials are, there’s still much reason for giving thanks. Yesterday, we looked at three provisions believers can count on during adversity: God’s presence, a pathway through the trouble, and potential to grow. Today, Let’s explore two more.

Protection. God doesn’t necessarily keep believers from suffering or disappointment. Stopping the storms may be our goal, but from His point of view, the adversity may be necessary to mature us spiritually. But the Father offers protection by staying with us in the struggle. Once we receive Jesus as our Savior, we are promised that God indwells us and will never leave. What’s more, we have assurance that nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:38-39). So our ever-present God walks with us through the hardships, providing guidance and speaking truth into the situation.

Peace. While difficulties cause many people anxiety, believers have God’s peace. This inner serenity does not depend on whether circumstances improve. Rather, it’s a result of our relationship with Him. Our main
focus shouldn’t be on fixing the problem but on our dependence upon God.

As we recognize the Lord’s provision during trials, we can genuinely express gratitude. Doing so will enable us to fix our eyes on Him rather than on our circumstance. We often don’t know what the purpose is for each ensuing trial, but we do know that our God is good and trustworthy.

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About jam4JESUS

I... 'will seek [First] the LORD my God, and I will find Him if I seek Him with all my heart and with all my soul.' Deut. 4:29 I... 'shall love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.' Deut. 6:5 I... 'Trust in the LORD with all my heart, And lean not on my own understanding; In all ways... acknowledge Him, And He shall make my path straight.' Proverbs 3:5-6 I... 'remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you' 2Tim. 1:6 I... 'thank God, whom I serve... without ceasing... I... remember YOU in my prayers night and day,' 2Tim. 1:3 I... am to 'Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God' Phil. 4:6 I... KNOW: 'I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.' Phil.4:13 'My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.' Phil. 4:19 'My GOD will never leave me, nor forsake me.' Heb. 13:5 JESUS so loves me, this I... KNOW
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