We give thanks when good things occur, when the answers to our prayers are evident. We also give thanks in advance when we are believing for something.
But can we give thanks in the pit of hell itself? Can we give thanks while experiencing horrendous circumstances?
What of when things go from bad to worse as was the case with Paul the apostle in Acts 27:20
“Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm kept raging about us, from then on all hope of our being saved was [growing worse and worse and] gradually abandoned.”
How can we genuinely give thanks in everything? Not lip service, not speaking “Christianese” but real/pure/sincere appreciation?
1) Receive a Word from the Lord:
A lot of times we come to the place of prayer with our list of scriptures and a plan. The truth of the matter is we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to know how to deal with each individual situation.
Take healing for example –
What scripture(s) should I stand on?
Should I call for the elders and have them anoint me and pray?
Should I agree and pray with another believer?
Should I bind and loose?
Should I cast out a spirit of infirmity?
Should I undergo a procedure?
Do I need a lifestyle change?
Is there an issue that is stressing me out and has lowered my immunity?
Am I in strife or bitterness? And so on and so forth.
We need to spend quality time in prayer asking for wisdom. We need wisdom and direction on the way out of that situation. A “now” Word from the Lord.
Paul received such a Word in Acts 27:23-24
“For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24 and said, ‘Stop being afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has given you [the lives of] all those who are sailing with you.’
2) Believe the Word you received
“So keep up your courage, men, for I believe God and have complete confidence in Him that it will turn out exactly as I have been told; 26 but we must run [the ship] aground on some island.”
33 While they waited for the day to dawn, Paul encouraged them all [and told them] to have some food, saying, “This is the fourteenth day that you have been constantly on watch and going without food, having eaten nothing. 34 So I urge you to eat some food, for this is for your survival; for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.” 35 Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all, and he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then all of them were encouraged and their spirits improved, and they also ate some food. 37 All told there were two hundred and seventy-six of us aboard the ship.”
Acts 27:25-26, 33-37
Paul received a Word from the Lord, 14 days after they were still in the nerve racking situation, and there was yet no resolution, but he believed the Word he had received and was encouraged and even encouraged others.
3) Rejoice (rekindle your joy)
Joy is a fruit of the spirit, it comes from within and has absolutely nothing to do with whatever happens on the outside.
Choose to rejoice, engage your will and like Habakkuk in chapter 3:17-19 declare
“Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!”
Make time out of your busy schedules to seek the face of the Lord concerning the negative situation you’re facing. Once you receive direction, believe it, fulfill your part and begin to rejoice.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but that Word will not pass away unfulfilled.
Look up for your redemption draweth nigh, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
It is morning time!!!