I was thinking this week about gratitude and as I began to think about how Paul encourages us to be thankful at all time (Thessalonians 5:16-17). I asked these questions, “How can we be thankful when things are taken away from us and we feel empty and lonely? How can we be thankful when a loved one is taken away from us? How can we be thankful when our whole dreams and plan is crushed? I pondered in these questions for a good amount of time. I could hear God’s voice telling me “I am the God who gives all good gifts.” I can plan for the future, but I must remember the future is out of my control. Walking with God is a call that demands that I must know fully well, God is who I must hold onto and be ready to accept changes when he makes a u-turn in my life. The mystery of God is a good thing because often he surprises us with blessings like he has done in my life, brought me to Moody and brings me to Wheaton, but the other part which all of us have a hard time accepting is when things bad happened and we want all the reasons why. We find no reason and it is seems as if God is silent. We cry in our room and the bathrooms, but there is no clear cut answer. We become depress and worry that God’s must left us.
When we want all these reasons why these terrible things are happen, it is not because we fail to trust God. It is because we are so compile by the God who is love and we have a hard time accepting that he would do such thing.
We are living in a broken world and as result we suffer. It is painful to put together something that is broken. The road to redemption is a path of suffering. Many of us are tempted to give up after many unanswered prayers, when nothing changes. We lost appetite for devotion. And we felt as if we have not thing to be thankful for. We just can’t pray, we’ll say.
Paul encourages us, to pray without ceasing. When you are in desperation you still can thank Jesus. Prayer is most needed in the darkest hour but it is the Hardest thing to do. Jesus simply remind us to thank him. There is always too much to thank Jesus for. When we feel like we cannot pray, we can always come before him with spirit of gratitude. When we live our live thanking God even by simply states, “Thank you Jesus for today”, it will gradually take our worries away. Our prayer life will grow deeper again. Will find peace and joy in the midst of our suffering. It is amazing how Paul often connect peace with thankfulness(Colossians 3:15). Our mind will have its attention in the greater promises of God. There is always hope. When we remain on our lost we only suffer more. We can find joy when we began to express our gratitude to God. Give him thanks and trust his words.
Jeremiah 29:10-14 reminds me I can continually rely on my God and he is faithful. I can thank him for the past–he made himself know to me, which is the greatest blessing ever happen in my life, he guides me through day by day and carries my hands. He bring to moody and give a dream and even use a broken vessel like me. I can thank him for the present–he brings me to Wheaton and continues to provide for me. He is the protector against the enemy’s schemes. I should not let myself lost in the details of life and miss the big picture, my redemption. Yes, I cried, I lamented, and some of my questions are still unanswered, but in this world I will suffer, but he has overcome the world. God, I ask that through the pain and the suffering please help me identify your voice that I may not miss lead by the enemy or his agent in this world.
The enemy comes to us in all forms and he has only one purpose to steal, destroy and kill, but closer to my savior is life everlasting. I thank God for the future plan and his promise toward me. I can trust them because he is faithful even when I am not. His hope brings me life. Trust him brother in your suffering. Cried if you have too, but thank him for life, for Jesus or something. He is with you always even in your time of despair. Just invite him in. He knows that path better than you. And “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope”(Romans 15:13)! Give thanks all times (read Psalm 100)!

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

1 Comment

  1. I am listening to your story on “This Is the Day!” , what an inspiration you are!
    Jasper, GA

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