Ephesians 5:19b-20 NIV
Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When I was young, I remember watching my cousins’ excitement as they watched a football game on television. But not everything in life is exciting. Sometimes, God gives us a gift of thorns.
With every successful play, they shouted, high-fived, and danced around as if they were the ones on the field making the touchdown.
Who doesn’t love a great party or exciting celebration? It can be such an easy and spontaneous thing to throw our hands in the air in jubilation when we receive good news, an answer to prayer, or a blessing.
It can be easy to trust the Lord when we are feeling well or receive a big promotion or recognition for our accomplishments. We see the blessings clearly and easily give words of thanks and gratefulness.
But when we are sick, injured, or unemployed, it can take everything within us to lift our heads off the pillow, let alone do a touchdown happy dance.
Having gone through a season of tremendous pain and grief, I could still thank God because I could see His hand of love and mercy in other areas of my life.
However, thanking God for the cause of the pain, grief, and struggle was quite another thing. To thank Him for the trouble created a serious war with my flesh. God asked me to thank Him for the things I pleaded with Him to take away. Yet, God asks believers to do just that.
Paul doesn’t tell us to thank God only while we are in a rough season. He says to always give thanks for everything. Not for just every good or happy thing, but everything, both good and bad.
Paul also says “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 KJV). All means all.
Sometimes, when we are going through a long season of suffering, our minds stumble over the thought of making it through alive. Yet, when we look at the cross, we reflect on that day and call it “Good Friday.”
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked to be spared, but He took the cup and trusted the Father to work things for the good.
Even in the midst of the pain, we can know joy. Joy comes when we believe the Father will bring good from what appears bad. This takes extraordinary faith to take Him at His Word and thank Him for these trials.
Have you embraced your gift of thorns?
Father, like Jesus, I ask that these cups would pass from me if it’s Your will. I ask for healing, deliverance, and solutions to what is so difficult to tolerate. I trust that if these thorns remain, that good is on its way. Give me extraordinary faith to take You at Your Word. I want to wrap my arms around my struggles and welcome them as friends. Extend Your mantle of grace over me. Show me Your power through my weakness. Help me to capture every bit of good You are bringing from my circumstances. In my tomorrows, I pray I can look over my shoulders and see Your loving fingerprints. I thank You for my gift of thorns. I thank You for my trials and for the promise of good, even though at this moment I may only perceive it through the eyes of faith. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2022: Gift of Thorns: Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved