Welcome to Day 15 of the 30 Days of Thanksgiving. I had already scheduled this repost from EIGHT years ago about giving thanks when “bad stuff” happens before the horrible shooting in the small town where we used to live. Made today’s article even more appropriate… and a little harder… to read…
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“…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” Ephesians 5:20 (NASV)
“…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18 (NASV)
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NASV)
[The italics are all mine.]
OK… we’re supposed to give thanks for everything but does that really mean EVERYTHING? What about the “bad” stuff?
I thought about this several years ago when we lived in Illinois and Glenn’s dad would call from Texas and say, “Y’all are having some BAD weather up there!” I’d say, “It’s snowing, but we’re not having any bad weather.” The same happens when it rains. I love the rain and miss it here in the California summers. And we need rain… is it bad? So I thought about some friends who are going through “bad” times. Are they really bad or is it just how we perceive them?
Do we thank God when we lose our job, get a cut in hours or pay, lose a loved one to death or sin, get sick, or have an accident? What about cancer? Do we thank God for that? There are so many things that are really hard to be thankful for.
Joni Eareckson Tada has been inspirational to me in this area. Talk about “bad stuff” happening to someone! If you’ve never read her autobiography, you should. I’d say it’s on my “must-read” list — or “listen to” list if you want to do Audible. If you have read her first book, you know what kind of suffering she’s been through. But listen to her now as she talks about having an attitude of gratitude!
Here are links to a few of her books that are helpful in dealing with suffering:
- Joni (I have this one on Audible.)
- When God Weeps: Why Our Suffering Matters to the Almighty
- A Place of Healing — Please note… God hasn’t healed Joni’s body.
- Making Sense of Suffering
- Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story
Scripture Reading, Ephesians 5:20
…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father… Ephesians 5:20 (NASB)
All Praise to God, John Milton
Let us, with a gladsome mind,
Praise the Lord, for he is kind:
For his mercies aye endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.
Let us blaze his name abroad,
For of gods he is the God:
He, with all-commanding might,
Filled the new-made world with light:
All things living he doth feed,
His full hand supplies their need:
He his chosen race did bless
In the wasteful wilderness:
Let us then with gladsome mind
Praise the Lord, for he is kind.
- Make a list of 5 “bad things” that have happened to you this year. Thank God for them.
- Listen to Joni’s radio show about having an attitude of gratitude. (Only about 3 minutes long.)
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Ann @ Duct Tape and Denim
Originally published November 17, 2009