From: Earth Psalms
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
One day, I noticed a battle going on in the skies overhead. Crows were attacking a red-tailed hawk. These weren’t small birds defending a nest; they were like a gang of bullies circling their victim. The hawk didn’t return the attack, though there were several times when it looked like with a swift rollover, he could have grasped one of the smaller birds and had a tasty snack. Instead, the hawk dodged and gave a flap or two of his powerful wings to gain a little more height. In ever-increasing circles the hawk soared higher and higher, until the crows gave up and flew away.
Life’s problems can seem like a gang of bullies after us. People and situations “peck” at us all the time, and we can feel under attack. What do we do when we are surrounded by trouble?
We can take a lesson from the red-tailed hawk. We don’t have to use up our energy engaging with problem people or worrying about our circumstances. Instead, we can use our wings of faith to take us higher and closer to God. We study God’s Word. We pray. We remember the times in the past when God was there for us. And as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, we give thanks in all things, in all circumstances. That very act of gratitude changes our perspective, reminds us that all is not lost, and reassures us that God is present in our situation. When we live in thankfulness, we can remember that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, (see Romans 8:28). He promised! Every time we face a problem, we can remember his promise and look for his hand.
We are in a spiritual battle every day of our lives while living inside these temporal bodies on this fallen Earth. But we can still live with thanksgiving because of God’s promises. With his help, we can soar in the midst of tribulation.
Reflect upon your present blessings – of which every man has many –
not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
How is gratitude tied to our perspective on our circumstances? How can living with deliberate thankfulness change our attitudes?
Take a few minutes each day this week to write down five things you’re thankful for. Challenge yourself to thank God even for some hard things in your life.
CONNECT WITH GOD
Lord God, sometimes the command to be thankful in all circumstances seems impossible. Teach me how to live with gratitude. May I never forget that you are with me, and you are working in all things for my good. No matter what else happens, that’s something to be thankful for.