Theme of the Week: Trusting God
Bible Verse: “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 ESV
Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
It’s hard to trust God when you’re surprised by bad news. It’s the sudden shock. Job loss. Betrayal. A diagnosis. A death. These are live wires to our souls. The surprise can throw us to the floor. We wonder, “God, how could you have let this happen?” Our trust erodes as we struggle to stand again.
When you’re not sure how to trust God after receiving bad news, practice thankfulness. This might be the exact opposite of what you want to do, but proactive gratitude will ground the live wires in your life. Start by writing lists of the good things that are happening during your hard season. Use the notes app on your phone.
This is a practice in changing your perspective. Do the work of gratitude, and your perspective shifts away from inward, bitter thinking to outward, grateful thinking.
Yes, you got fired. It wasn’t fair. But there are upsides to being out of your old job. What are they? Actively pray through those upsides with a thankful heart, even if they seem like relatively small details.
Yes, your loved one received a terrible diagnosis. But you know that God cares deeply for the hurting. You know that the desert is where God often grows spiritual fruit. So, walk through the experience with your loved one. Look for and name the fruit you find in the desert.
Practice thankfulness in a new, intentional way—especially if you’re struggling to trust God. It’s counterintuitive soul work that attacks bitterness like weed killer. Look for good things during a hard season and the shock will eventually wear off. God has allowed a change to happen in your life. Don’t miss the good that is accompanying the bad.
Prayer: Dear God, I cannot see past the problem in front of me. I’m struggling to trust you because of __________. But I will name the good things in front of me, no matter how small. In all circumstances I give thanks to you, God. Amen.
Reflection: One of the reasons Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians was to thank God for the faith of the believers in Thessalonica (1:2-3, 2:13, 3:6-10). Another reason was to encourage them during a time of affliction (3:3-4). This letter shows us how painful experiences do not diminish the power of gratitude. As Paul wrote in his letter, giving thanks in all circumstances is, “the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
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