Praise God In All Circumstances
By Kendra Clarke
Oftentimes, the blame is unfairly directed at God when things go wrong. However, when things are perfect and wonderful and we are at peace, we often pat ourselves on the back, give others credit or simply write it off as a mere coincidence…and God?… He does not even get a “thank you” or a shout out. Is it because we are we too arrogant to give credit where credit is due? Are we guilty of thinking too highly of ourselves and too prideful to recognize that all we have is because of God’s grace and mercy and not ourselves? Proverbs 16:18 warns us that,
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”.
We must never walk with our heads or noses so far in the air that we cannot see where we are walking because it is then that we may trip and fall flat on our faces. In James 1:17, we are told that,
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.
Though our circumstances may change, God does not. He is the same today as He was yesterday and He will be the same tomorrow as He is today. This is why we are called to praise Him in spite of our circumstances, which can be dire one day and “right as rain” the next. We are called to not be like the wind that blows here and there. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Likewise, Ephesians 5:20 also reiterates this admonition, we
“…should always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
In this life, we are to praise God, not only during the good times, but yes…even in the bad times. We are to give Him thanks not only from the mountain top, but even as we are in the midst of a crisis. We are to acknowledge Him not only when we are in good health, but even in our pain and helplessness recognizing that no matter how bad things get, He is there. He knows and promises that,
“He will go before us and will be with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
God knows us intimately as “the very hair of our head, are all numbered” (Luke 12:7). He knows our limitations, our strengths and our weaknesses or shortcomings. God knows us better than we think we know ourselves. Unlike man, God will not use what He knows to exploit us or hurt us. In fact, He says in Jeremiah 29:11 that,
“He knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.”
We are, thus, assured in Romans 8:28 that,
“God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.”
Only He can salvage good from a terrible situation. He uses both the good and the bad times to grow us up, to perfect us and to build our faith and character but He will not put more on us than we can bear as 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that,
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
My brothers and sisters, we must pray for the fortitude to go through each trial until we have successfully made it to the other side. Recognizing this about life, 1 Peter 4:12 reminds us,
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you”.
We should brace ourselves because we will go through trials as they are allowed to happen to us for a reason. Much like a warrior going through training in preparation for battle, we must be tried and battle-tested for our next mission as it is the only way to obtain spiritual growth. The pruning process is uncomfortable, and oftentimes painful, but a masterpiece can only be revealed over time. Even Jesus, the Son of God, learned obedience from the things he suffered (Hebrew 5:8). So “do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke” (Proverbs 3:11). When we are tempted to ask God “why”, Isaiah 55:8 lets us know that “God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are our ways His ways.”
We should accept that there will be seasons of great abundance, but also seasons of great famine. There is a reason and a season for all things…so rather than begging for a reprieve, we should pray for the wisdom and knowledge to learn each lesson He has placed before us in order to move ahead to the next lesson of life after having been forged through the fire and molded into a new creature.
“I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).