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"IN FAITH, HE..." Devotional from Cherbear

Full Armor of God pt 3

Possibly the most difficult of all devotions is the one I am about to write. Giving thanks in all things? Not exactly what you expect to hear in a faith devotional. In our thoughts of living "in faith" we think more on the line of, we ask and He grants, He blesses, He fills our needs, desires, and fights our battles. We win! Not so fast!

 In All Things Give Thanks

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Romans 8:28 and 37

What happens when things don't turn out just the way we think they should? What happens to our faith when the world seems to come crashing down around us? Do we look at the big picture? Do we really see God working in all things for good? From a human perspective it is often very difficult to see the "good" in our circumstances when our hearts are broken and our spirits are pressed down. We may even be feeling abandoned! How is it that we can thank God for those times we face, when we actually cannot feel as though we could "soar with the eagles" or "walk on the high places" or even "rest on the wings of the Dove." Perhaps when the disaster first hits we think we cannot possibly get there! 

In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you. I Thes. 5:18

The beauty of knowing God in a personal relationship is, we don't have to take the lead in this "giving thanks in all things." God can and does carry us through. He does not promise we will never suffer lose. He has not said we will never suffer pain and heartbreak. However He, the God of the Universe, the Mighty God who is above all and in all things, promises He will never leave us alone. When there is heart ache, when it just doesn't seem like we have the "victory," He lifts us up and pulls things around to His glory. He does bring the victory. Not as we might expect, but a victory that will fill His purpose in His way, just as He did with Jesus on the cross. He does bring about good from evil. He hands us a much needed line to draw us nearer to Him. We must reach out and grasp the line! In that nearness we can see where that victory is, if we look for it. We can fall at His feet and thank Him that no matter what happens, He does show us His power, His strength, His compassion, His love, His peace, and, yes even His joy. Whatever it is we need to see from Him, He brings that! We have His resurrection power. We can rise above all grief and disappointment. If we had to do it alone, without Him, without the family of God to support us, lift us up, encourage us and love us, I can imagine that may just be the true definition of "despair."

My life is just as yours. Ups. Downs. Mountains. Valleys. It is watching God work "all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His good purpose," that gets me through and brings me into that "attitude of gratitude." God is really not looking for my approval. He asks that I have faith in Him, trust in Him, rely upon Him, and most certainly thank Him in all things. "In Faith, He..." allows only what is necessary for my spiritual growth and the spiritual growth of those around me. He is concerned for the Kingdom purpose and I must strive to thank Him no matter what. He is teaching me to trust in His unconditional love for me. That is why I must strive to give back to Him, the unconditional love He so deserves.

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ. I Cor. 15:57

We always have the victory, even when it does not feel much like a victory. Looking for the good, and seeing what the Lord has done in His infinite wisdom will ultimately help us to give thanks for all He has done and will do. Thanking Him before the victory comes, thanking Him when we cannot yet see the end result, and thanking Him even when we don't understand will bring the victory that is His into focus.

A prayer to share:

Holy Spirit,

I ask You to be the strength that must be in me. I ask You to hold me tight in the hard times that I may be able to look at the circumstances I face through the victory given to me by Jesus on the cross of Calvary. I pray your Spirit within me will show me what I need to see, hear what I need to hear and enable me to truly practice what I have preached and "in everything, give thanks." Amen

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