Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 5:20
“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Ephesians 5:20
God has done, and is doing, so much for us. Much more than we could ever imagine. We often give thanks to God when a great thing happens that gives us joy. Some examples are when we win a wonderful prize, when someone we enjoy fellowshipping with comes and visits us, when a miracle happens in that we are either healed of a terrible disease or we are delivered from a very trying issue. We give thanks for the food we are about to eat, and for the day we are about to rise from our sleep and enjoy.
But what about for other times? What about when we go through difficult situations? Paul says regarding this thought. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. This can be difficult to do, but let’s look at this closer. We are to rejoice at all times, in all situations and circumstances. It is easy to see why we would rejoice when wonderful things happen to and for us; and even when it is just an ordinary event. But what about being thankful during hard times? Yes, we should be thankful to God even during these times.
Why should we be? As the above verse states, ‘for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us.’ Whatever God does or allows to happen, we know it is for our good. If He chooses for us to, for instance, lose our job, He has a purpose for it. If He allows us to become disabled in any way, then He also has a reason for it. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. Everything that happens to us, God has a reason for it. This is what we must remember during these times. I remember when I was blind for around three months. Yes, it was hard, but it helped me understand even more His love for me.
Also, I have been able to help others in the same situation. As Paul also said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. Sometimes, what God allows is not for our benefit but for another’s. However, we benefit because we now have the knowledge and the compassion to help others through very similar situations.
In closing, every situation and circumstance we find ourselves in is something to be thankful for, whether we perceive it as good or not. And the reason is that God either caused it or allowed it. If there was not a ‘good’ reason for us to be placed in a situation, God would not have allowed it. Remember, all things work together for our good. We may never know or understand what that good is, but we must trust Him that it is for our good. And a lot of times, these trials may be the means to draw us to Himself.
What an amazing and loving God.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.