"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." — 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Life is full of surprises. Some good, some not so good. You never know what will come next, and you never know how you will handle those things that do come. Sometimes you will go through incredibly difficult times, and sometimes you will go through incredibly wonderful times. However, no matter what lies before you, you must always remember to give thanks to Him who created you.
"Why should I be thankful when everything in my life is falling apart?" some ask. While to some this seems like a very unthoughtful and rude question to ask, to others it is a genuine, serious question. Why should you be thankful?
I am not going to say that you should be thankful because others have it worse. The tragedies of others do not lessen the sincerity of your own. However, you should be thankful because even in your hardships, you are blessed. You are incredibly blessed.
No matter what your hardship is, you have the opportunity to serve a God who is perfect and loves us all (1 John 4:19). You have fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who love you and want the best for you (Galatians 6:10). And you have a Savior who loved you enough to die for you that you may spend eternity in Paradise (Romans 4:24-25).
As a Christian, you cannot allow your hardships to cloud your blessings. You cannot lose sight of your blessings. How can you be a light to all the World, how can you show others your love for God, if every time something goes wrong, no matter how painful, you forget everything He has done for you?
The moment you stop being thankful is the moment you forget everything that He has done for you. While you may be upset, you must remember that you cannot allow sadness become a loss of faith in God. Being thankful will keep that from happening.
Another frequently asked question is, "How can I stay thankful? How can I remember to be thankful when everything around me is falling apart?" This can be difficult, I admit. However, Paul gives us a fantastic example of this. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 we read of the hardships he went through. We read of all the physical torment he went through. From being shipwrecked, to being imprisoned, to be being beaten. Paul certainly went through a lot while he was here on earth.
However, if you read in Philippians 4:11, a little while later Paul wrote, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." Paul, the apostle who was always getting hurt, who was always in trouble, who was always in prison, had learned to be content? How? Because in verse 13, he simply says, "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."
What encouraging words these are! We hear them all the time, and yet when we hear them from a man who was fleeing for his life, a beaten, shipwrecked, hungry, and thirsty man, it makes the message that much more powerful. He was able to be content because he knew that God was and is always in control.
How much more does that mean knowing that it came from such a man as Paul? To remain thankful, you must remember that you can always persevere through Christ, and without Him, you could do nothing.
This world tells us that we should always be getting more. If our lives are not ideal, then it must mean that God is dead. However, just because your life is not perfect, just because you may be having a difficult time, God is still there. If you hold fast your faith, if you continue to serve God, your trials may not end until death, but life on earth is a mere breath compared to eternity.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). If we have faith, no matter how hard our lives are, we can know that we will have eternal life.
The Virtuous Woman is the TCT version of Jayla Sparks' blog, "Marvelously Modest". Its goal is to show that although the world teaches women that to be beautiful is to be of the world, to be steeped in sin, true beauty is being godly.
Hi! My name's Jayla Sparks and I'm 16 years old. I have been a Christian for about 3 years now. I enjoy activities such as reading, writing, playing piano, and baking. My goal in life is to aid as many people as I can to reach the heavenly goal.