In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thes. 5:18
As the seasons change in the world around us, the seasons of our life also transition from one to the next. All of us, at one time or another, go through seasons of discouragement.
I went through a season of fighting depression back in 1993. I often joke that I had to exercise faith just to move from depression to discouragement! But the Lord brought me through that time, strengthening me by His Spirit and teaching me to give thanks in all circumstances.
Some of you may be dealing with discouragement right now. For those who are married, at the moment marriage might not seem to be turning out the way you thought it would. Others might be wondering if you will ever get married someday. For others, discouragement might be knocking at your door along with outstanding bills to pay, or with various long-lasting health problems.
Whatever situation you identify with most, giving thanks to God will help you overcome discouragement!
Give Thanks & Rejoice always!
You can win the battle against discouragement, first of all because thanksgiving brings you into the Presence of God.
- “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” – Psa. 95:2
- “In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psa. 16:11
- “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” – Psa. 100:4
Something we often see in Scripture is the command to give thanks and rejoice. The Apostle Paul—while he was still in prison—wrote this encouragement to the church in Philippi:
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” – Phil. 4:4
The fact that we are commanded to be joyful tells us something about the nature of joy: Joy can be ordered, and that means joy is not happiness. Happiness is based upon what happens; it is thing-centered, people-centered or event-centered. And that’s why happiness is so fickle because if you lose your stuff, you lose your happiness.
But joy—real joy—is not centered on your circumstances. Real joy is centered on God alone.
This is why I can have joy no matter what I am going through—because no matter what changes in my life, God’s nature, character and His ways remain the same. If God is who He says He is, if He is still alive and in charge and cares for me, then I have a reason to rejoice no matter what comes my way.
Open the door to miracles
Here is a highlight from my recent message at HRock Church where I share about how thanksgiving will open the door to the miraculous in your life!