Today’s Verse:

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Amplified)

Introduction:

I didn’t think I was going to have a Thanksgiving message, but that’s before I was left here at home because I won’t be needed until later.  So, naturally, I have the worship music on, and I was being selfish getting ready to go meet with my wife and her family for dinner…and the presence of God fell…and low and behold…a message is in my heart.

So…I don’t have a long time to write…so without further delay…let’s see what the Lord would have to say to us this day…this Thanksgiving Day…November 22, 2012…

Today’s Message:  “Give Thanks in All Situations”

Happiness depends upon favorable outer conditions.  You receive a bonus or promotion, you can afford a special vacation, or it’s a perfectly sunny day.  But seasons can change can’t they?  Instead of sunny skies…we see clouds and then it rains.  Your company is bought out, and they ship the jobs overseas…and suddenly that job you received the bonus from is no longer gone…but you’re without a job.  A devistating loss, a cherished family member or friend passes away, and you’re left with the reality that life really is sometimes as cruel as it is full of joy…isn’t it!?!

You know, those of you who follow me know that Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite scriptures, but there was a time when I had a wrong understanding of that verse…as did many and maybe as do many of you.  I used to think that meant that everything in my life would be much better, and easier to deal with once I became a Christian.  However, that’s not the case is it?

Romans 8:28 says that God will cause all things to work together for good…not that all things in our lives would be good.  Because I found out relatively quickly that there are still trials, temptations I would give into, persecution, and that not everyone would be as excited as I am that I’m a child of God.  I found out that I’m not immune to falling from grace or heartache and heartbreak.  In fact, I’ve found that there’s actually MORE of those things, and they result from me not really relying upon God…there’s a reason Proverbs 3:5-6 is in the Bible…and that reason is that if you rely upon your own strength, wisdom, abilities, and understanding…eventually you’re going to realize that compared to God’s…we are no match…and that’s how we some times find ourselves in the pitfalls of life.

Not all of the heartaches are from that.  Some times…the ruler of this world still has the ability to bring things into our lives.  Listen…not everything that happens in our lives is God’s fault.  Remember Job?  The devil asked God for permission to do some things in Job’s life…and God allowed it.  He allowed it to prove that no matter what the devil threw at him…He would still rejoice and give thanks to God.

How many of you know that in the midst of heartache and trial is when we need to go to the Source, and find that joy that seems to elude us during these times?  We have to some times force ourselves to praise God in the midst of the storms don’t we?  I can admit that I don’t always feel like raising my hands and worshiping God…but that’s my flesh.  I have to force myself to press pass my flesh, feelings, and circumstances of life…to raise my hands in worship to my Lord and King…how about you?

You know, we talk about approaching the throne of grace boldly with confidence to receive grace and mercy to help us in our time of need.  That verse keeps coming into our messages doesn’t it.  I believe that’s because some of us are going to experience more times of need, and we need to know that in order to get through them…WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GO TO GOD…our abilities aren’t going to get us through…WE’RE GOING TO NEED GOD’S GRACE TO HELP US IN OUR WEAKENESS…that’s HOLY GHOST right there, family…write that down…we’re going to be driven to run to the throne…and I’m being serious.

God will be our comfort and provider.  Even in the darkest night, He can and will bring joy in the morning because He is FAITHFUL.  Take your fears, your heartaches, your heartbreaks, your struggles, your problems, your strongholds…take it all and come BOLDLY AND CONFIDENTLY to the throne of grace…because God is there…and HE WILL HELP YOU.

Look, we can waste a lot of time and energy fighting these things with our own abilities and strength…but that’s what it’s going to be.  Our abilities are not going to work.  We’re not going to be strong enough to face what’s coming in our lives on our own…I said it and I mean it…WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO RUN TO THE THRONE!!!

When times are tough, however, we need to kick the devil in his teeth by finding joy in those times as James exhorts us to do.  Paul writes here in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in ALL things.  Good, bad, ugly, and indifferent.  If you want to make the devil mad…when he brings things to your life…respond first by running to the throne…and then by lifting your hands and praising God that trials are coming your way…and that God causes ALL things to work together for God in your life because you love God and are called according to His purposes.  Nothing can separate us from His love…nothing formed against you will prosper because if God is for us (and He is for us) nothing can come against us.

This attitude of gratitude for the unseen grace that is always with us…because God is in us…and we are in Him…because we’re in Christ.  He will help us to relax and have that peace that surpasses all understanding.  It will help us to relax our resisitance and accept the current of grace that flows within your life.

Giving thanks will help us to find serenity in troubled times, and become more aware of life’s precious gifts in all seasons of life.  It will also help us to become more aware of the working of God in our lives because we’re not going to wallow in our circumstances any more…we’re all going to run to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help us in time of need…right!?!

I don’t know about you…but there’s no greater feeling than knowing that when things come in my life that I can’t handle…I’ve a God that’s ready, willing, and waiting for me to give it all to Him…and He will take it…and make good out of it…and that will give us more to be thankful for…Amen!?!

Be A Doer…Not Just A Reader:

When fear makes you start feeling crazy, step back and say to yourself, “I am fine at this moment and God is guiding me.  He causes all things to work together for good in my life because I love God and am called according to His purposes.  Greater is He that’s in me than anything that’s coming against me.”

Conclusion:

Well, praise the Lord for this short message.  Instead of talking about what we don’t have, express gratitude for the blessings you do have.  That’s taking joy in trials and circumstances…because as children of God…He is saying to all of us that He’s got our backs…all we have to do is bring our needs to Him…and He will do the rest…Amen!?!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.