November 22, 2017
Give Thanks in All Things
November 22, 2017
This weekend’s reading: Matthew 25:31-46
On this day before Thanksgiving, we thank God for how God takes horrifying tragedies and turns them into triumphs.
In our scripture, the religious leaders kill Stephen. Saul of Tarsus, who later becomes Paul the Apostle, supported Stephen’s martyrdom. While God did not cause Stephen’s death, God began working on Saul, which led to his conversion.
Later Paul says that God takes all things and makes something good happen through them (Romans 8:28). In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul lists all of the horrible things that he experienced. Then, in 2 Corinthians 12, he boasts of all his hardships and weaknesses because through them Christ’s grace becomes sufficient and Christ’s power is made perfect.
Thus, Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that we are to give thanks in all circumstances.
When something does not go right for me, I simply affirm, “O.K. Lord, I don’t know how you will do it, but I thank you for the good you will make happen through this situation.” Many times a calming peace comes over me. Usually, it is later when I see the good that came through a tough situation, and I again say, “Thank you.”
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Looking back, what challenging situation in your life did God transform into something better? Can you pause to thank God for that circumstance?
- Is there a situation today in which you are struggling? Can you thank God for what God is going to do with this circumstance, transforming it into something positive?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- What are some family struggles you’ve had in the past that God has turned into something positive? Can you give thanks to God for this?
- Is there a situation today in which your family is struggling? Can you thank God knowing that God is in the process of transforming it into something positive?
Most mysterious and awesome Lord, we know you love us. We know that you want better circumstances for all of us. Lord, we thank you for how you’ve helped in the past, how you are helping right now, and how you will help again in the future. Help us especially to be patient and give thanks to you when we are in the midst of uncertainty, knowing that you will work through the unknowns for good. In your gracious loving name, we pray. Amen.