Finding Thankfulness in Suffering

In his article The Five Truths About Thanksgiving, Joseph Scheumann writes that we are to celebrate with Thanksgiving in ALL circumstances, ALL of the time. It's easy to give thanks when things are going our way, but how and, more importantly, why should we be thankful when life's circumstances have us down?

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

According to Scheumann,"Giving thanks in all circumstances is especially difficult while undergoing suffering. How can we be thankful when there’s something that hurts so much? We can give thanks in the midst of suffering because it is meant to enlarge our faith, not as punishment (2 Corinthians 4:17–18), and because it is redemptive, not random.

Our suffering is not punishment for our sin — because Christ has borne our punishment in our place (Romans 3:25). The demands of justice have been met. And our suffering is not random — because God is sovereign over it, and through it God is conforming us in the image of his Son (Romans 8:28–29)."

I was reminded of this very truth last week at the Malta 20th Anniversary Gala when guest speaker, Rob Tassone, recounted speaking with "Rick" who had lived many, many years on the street. Rick told the volunteers that one particular cold night, " If it looks like we don't have much, don't be deceived. We have all we need, because we have friends and we have Jesus."

Wow, if we could all have Rick's attitude of gratefulness, how much better would our lives and the lives of those we impact be?

Click here to read the rest of Scheumann's article

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