"...giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Ephesians 5:20)
God doesn't let us off the hook here. We're not instructed simply to give thanks for the things we like, for the gifts we asked for, for the ways He works that make sense to us. (I read the other day that so much of the time when we talk about "answered prayer" what we really mean is "God did what I wanted Him to do"...convicting!) No, this verse sets the bar much higher. How can we give thanks for everything? How can we have eyes to call the ugly beautiful?
It's the cross. It's the perfect-sinless-life and brutal-sacrificial-death that purchased every good gift I don't deserve AND ensured that every trial, every gift-that-doesn't-seem-like-a-gift, is in fact accomplishing God's good purposes in my life. When I look through the lens of the cross, I can give thanks always and for everything--in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
"So much of our praise to the Lord is limited to the moments when we have determined that what He has done is good: the times of physical healing, financial provision, improved circumstances, restored relationships, or solved problems. In these situations, we praise God for His faithfulness. But...God is active in every moment of our lives, and He brings all things into our lives for our redemptive good. It is very, very important that we believe this! When we do, we have hearts that can speak with humility and worship. We realize that God has us just where we need to be so that His purposes for us and His promises to us may come to pass."So this week I'm thanking God for...
(Paul Tripp, War of Words, p. 74)
801. Jesus' death purchasing every good gift I don't deserve
802. Jesus' death ensuring that every hard thing that doesn't *seem* like a gift accomplishes God's good purposes in my life
803. the fact that motherhood has been exceedingly hard for me
804. Joni Eareckson Tada's powerful testimony on Revive Our Hearts
805. hip pain that God promises will produce in me perseverance, character and hope
806. the presence of mind to pray for those things and not simply for relief from the pain
807. the fact that Elijah isn't potty trained yet
808. the humbling experience of asking for and receiving parenting advice from someone who doesn't have children
809. Elijah's language delays
810. grace to not grumble and complain when our air conditioner broke last week
811. His wisdom in only providing grace for today, not for tomorrow's imagined needs or trials