I keep re-reading those verses…trying to figure out how to thank God for everything.
It makes no sense to me.
17 Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit. [Prov 23:20.] 20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. AMP
I keep on talking and asking for wisdom, trying to get around that word everything,
However, it doesn’t matter what I say to God my Father, the words that are written do not change, and still sound impossible for me to do.
From what I can understand, I am to thank and praise God for everything.
But God, that involves losing my marriage.
It involves betrayal.
The list of things it involves seem endless and keeps growing. I learn more of them each day.
And I am supposed to thank and praise you for these?
That my children no longer have a father – and my grandchildren don’t have a grandfather?
For my “husband” has totally abandoned us. We are no longer an important part of his life.
No longer will I have a home for my kids to come to . . .
I have to leave Brazil, this country I love and is now my home;
and return to the United States where I do not want to live.
Oh God! Help me!
The words in God’s Word still do not change.
After a couple of days, finally, I am quiet… not arguing any more.
Ok God. I will have to do this as I do the forgiveness: out of obedience, for my heart only hurts.
Father, I thank You, I praise You for my husband’s actions, his betrayal of our children and I, for . . . the tears run down my cheeks. . .I thank you for his children from that relationship … I thank you for the woman whom I thought was my friend … I break down, begging my Father for help.
Every time I thank God – the tears come. I learn three important things.
1. Thanking God – even with tears – cleanses my heart. I take these different situations that involve so much hurt, talk about them with God, give thanks and praise for each one: it’s like a balm that heals as it goes over my wounds. It becomes easier to forgive those involved.
2. What is “high praise.” Ps 66:16-19
16 Come and hear, all you who reverently and worshipfully fear God, and I will declare what He has done for me!
17 I cried aloud to Him; He was extolled and high praise was under my tongue.
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me; [Prov 15:29; 28:9; Isa 1:15; John 9:31; James 4:3.] (So I must forgive, to keep my heart clean.)
19 But certainly God has heard me; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.
I come to the conclusion that high praise is when I weep while I thank God . . I wonder how long it will be before I can thank Him without tears?
3. What is a sacrifice of praise.
15 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. [Lev 7:12; Isa 57:19; Hos 14:2.]
When I praise God for all things, it truly is a sacrifice of my will for my life, as I choose to obey Him; and tears flow.
However, the result ? I am blessed with a deeper quietness in my spirit., and I need that quietness and peace.
I am living with an anguish I never imagined. At the same time, I know I am not alone.
There are some things one cannot explain.
I do not know how to explain what is happening to me, with me. But changes are happening.
I only know I will continue fo obey God to the best of my ability, even when I don’t understand.
I thank God for all things, and forgive those who have hurt me so deeply.
I desire to be free from the past, free to walk into my future.
Then there are these promises to me – to anyone who is attempting to walk with God.
I hang onto them, for I know they are true!
He is doing it on a daily basis for me, as I do my best to walk in obedience.
At times, I have to hang tightly onto His hand to have the strength to follow.
But He IS HERE.
Isa 43:1-3, 19-21 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
. . . .
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
. . .
20 . . . because I provide water in the desert
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
These promises hold me together as I hang onto His hand for dear life.
It is still difficult for me to even write this today, although 28 years have passed since then. The deep anguish is gone; however, a profound sorrow remains. I am still hanging onto His hand, and continue to learn how to thank Him for everything
I have questions for which there are no answers – yet.
Life is a challenge and, at times, a battle for survival. Yet, in all of it, He keeps His promises.
If you are walking in anguish, full of anger, or lack peace and joy: please experiment with these first two steps: forgiveness and thanksgiving.
Just remember, we can trust Him – totally! even though we don’t understand.
In next post, the third challenge He gives me – just as big as the first two.
The result? BLESSING!
It is evening. My body is exhausted from sorting and packing. My mind is tired from thinking.
I reach for my Bible to see if I can find some verses to bring me peace. I open my Bible and start reading . . . Suddenly, I read a verse that stops me in surprise. I look at the verse again, and the words hit me and dig in deep.
….always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 5:20
I shake my head in disbelief. How many times have I read this verse? But it never hit me like it is now.
I thought that forgiveness is a challenge? Even as I’m learning to forgive out of obedience, not emotion, and beginning to see some changes in my attitudes.
But this? Thank God, and praise Him, for all the tears and hurts? Thank Him for my husband being unfaithful? Thank God for the betrayal of a woman I’d thought of as my friend?
ohhh, I know Romans 8:28 says …in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. . .
but to thank Himforthings that are wrong? How in this world can I dothat? This is too much!
I turn back to the two passages I had just read.
1 Thess. 5:16-18 “Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” and
Phil. 4:8-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
OK … I ponder over these verses again.
Be joyful always does not mean be happy always. Happiness comes and goes. It’s a surface emotion. Joy is something deep inside me. I can have a quiet joy, even when things are wrong. because I know that God is with me.
Pray continually. My God knows I’m talking with Him all the time. I couldn’t make it without Him.
Give thanks in all circumstances. Thank Him in all circumstances is God’s will for me as I follow Christ Jesus. I can see that. I am to trust Him and know that all things work together for my good. And His Will is that I do this . It’s difficult, but I can learn how to do this.
Rejoice in the Lord…again, there is the joy – and Paul says it two times, so he is extra serious on this one!
Now why did He say: Let your gentleness be evident to all. Perhaps, because if I follow these instructions, I won’t be full of anger and rancor, and can actually be gentle in my approach with people, not wanting to hit them over the head? hmmm maybe I wouldn’t want to hit them over the head if I obeyed these instructions? Good thought!
The Lord is near. I am so thankful for that! To know that He is here, near me! That helps!
Do not be anxious about anything That definitely goes against my personal tendencies. I worry about and for my kids, and their kids. I sorrow over the hurts of others, their losses. My heart sorrows about so many things… and Paul continues with his thought. . .
but in everything,, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Paul is telling me to take all my worries and frustrations to the Lord and turn them into words, and present them to God. But, look, here he says that when we do this, we are also to thank and praise Him. Thanking and praising God are very important to Him – which means they should be important to me.
The promised blessing when I do this? the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
OK God, I think I get this. It’s sinking in – and in whatever situation I am in, I can obey this and have peace. . . and if I don’t have peace about something, then I need to take it to you in prayer, with thanksgiving.
It’s going to take work – and I see the logic.
But what about Eph 5:20
….always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I do not get this one. I see no logic in it? Thanking youfor things that are totally against Your will?