Thessalonians – Hope
I used to sing a song when I was younger and stronger about gratitude. The lyrics touched my life many times. In the hard times, God would recall the words of this song to my mind and just humming it restored my joy. Hanging on when everything around us seems to be falling apart is not a pleasant place to be and it hurts, from the inside out. BUT, God never leave us. He joins us IN that place and intimately loves us through it. For that alone, praise and thank the Almighty Father that He doesn’t leave and believe that HE will never let you down. HE will make a way that you cannot imagine. HE is Creator of all, in all and above all, so I’m pretty sure HE knows what to do and when it should be done. In the meantime, be grateful…from the gut that has been kicked…be always and eternally grateful that you can still breathe, love, cherish and decide how you will respond to hurt and despair.
In everything give Him thanks
Give Him thanks
In everything give thanks
Give Him thanks
In the good times praise His name
In the bad times do the same
In everything give the King of kings
All the thanks
With all the good things
That had come His way
It’s no wonder
You could hear Job say
The Lord giveth and He taketh away
I’ll give Him thanks
But when the tables were all turned around
And Job’s world came crashing down
His faith in God caused Job to say
I’ll still give Him thanks
When trouble comes
And there’s no one around
Satan tries to tell me
That God’s let me down
Through ev’ry dark hour
The best thing I’ve found
Is to give God the thanks
For He has never
Failed me yet
So why should I start now
To worry or fret
In eve’rything I won’t ever forget
To give God the thanks
“As long as I have breath I will praise Him”, the Psalmist cries out. I also believe that with my whole mind, heart and soul. God has taught me so many lessons in my losses that I cannot begin to count them. He has blessed me with people who stand with me and love me through it so that I have physical arms to feel His hugs of caring. God was, is and always will be. So…BE grateful!
As Paul writes, “justice will come”. “Troubles make us fit for the Kingdom”, take it to heart. Sometimes we win and sometimes we LEARN. So today, right now, ask God, “What are teaching me in the middle of this mess?”. Be teachable and pliable. He will tell us when we sincerely ask. This is NOT something He hides from us. This is God’s best for us…lessons learned in losing ourselves to gain everything to be grateful for…to be called His own.
It seems the Thessalonians were a grateful people of God and were great examples of extreme, gutty gratitude in the good times and bad. “If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.” May we all freely give gratitude to the One who saved us! May love and gratitude be our first thought as we rise each day! He’s coming back, you know…!
2 Thessalonians, The Message
1-2 I, Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, greet the church of the Thessalonian Christians in the name of God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.
Justice Is on the Way
3-4 You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you.
5-10 All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way. When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with his strong angels, he’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time. His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for. Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they’ve done. Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence. But on that very same day when he comes, he will be exalted by his followers and celebrated by all who believe—and all because you believed what we told you.
11-12 Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We praise Your holy Name. We are so grateful for your eternal love for us. We thank you for living in us. We thank you for sending Your Holy Spirit to guide, correct, comfort and love us dearly. Thank you, Jesus, for laying down your life for us. Thank you for saving us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for caring enough to still teach us, transform us so we can be more who you created us to be. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, and by His power in us, Yes and Amen!