We can give thanks for “all things,” including disappointments, because they are appointments; pre-destined by God in His providential care; as He controls and directs our destiny.
This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.
Early, in our 30-year marriage, my husband was hired many times by different companies only to be laid off after each tax season. One time, he was unemployed for 6 months and we faced difficult financial consequences; including the loss of a home.
We were so disappointed, but now we can give thanks; because, if he hadn’t been unemployed; He wouldn’t have found the job where he’s been for the past 23 years.
Things don’t always work out this happily, and some disappointments remain painful and perplexing. But even those can teach us to focus on God and not circumstances.
Yes, give thanks for “all things,” even when we experience disappointment. This is especially difficult, when people or things we’ve trusted in fall short of our expectations.
It’s easy to give thanks for “all things” when we’re feeling blessed; however, it’s hard to give thanks for “all things,” when we’re dealing with setbacks, failures and defeats.
But, the Bible tells us to give thanks for “all things.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (HCSB)
Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (NASB)
And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”(Ephesians 5:20 NLT)
It’s okay to communicate our disappointment to God and be honest about our feelings. But even though it’s challenging to give thanks for “all things,” it’s important to do so for a few reasons.
The first reason to give thanks for “all things” is because we have God’s promise that He is working in “all things for our good;” and for that alone, He is worthy of our gratitude. Our disappointments guide us to His appointments.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
In addition, our gratitude during times of disappointment is a powerful witness to others that our faith is genuine, and by giving thanks for “all things;” we’re demonstrating that our hope in Him is well-placed.
Lastly, giving thanks for “all things” to God during disappointment reminds us of His past and present faithfulness; and it gives us hope for His future grace as well. Misplaced hope in people and things will disappoint us, but if we hope in God, we will not be disappointed.
Psalm 25:3 says, “No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame.” (NIV)
Psalm 42:11 says, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (NIV)
Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”(Isaiah 49:23 NIV)
Our hope in God helps us to accept our disappointments as His appointments for us. As we surrender our will and expectations to Him, we find true contentment; because His will for us is perfect and leaves no regrets.
One day, after this life has passed we will be able to understand the reason for every disappointment and thank Him as we see His face.
This quote says it well: “In all the setbacks of your life as a believer, God is plotting for your joy.” John Piper
Do you give thanks to God for ‘all things’?
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