A J-BAR PRAYER
Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.
As a pastor, I often hear people say, “I just want to know God’s will for my life,” or something similar. The great thing about God is that He doesn’t hide His will, but makes it known to those who wish to know it.
Several times in the Bible, God literally says “this is my will for your life.” One such occurrence is found in I Thessalonians 5:18, where the Bible says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Being thankful is a mixture of joy, peace, contentment and gratitude. It is truly an expression of the heart and very important. We don’t have a problem being thankful for the things that go our way. The things we want and like. But God wants us to be thankful for all things.
Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
It is easy to be thankful when the bills are paid, the family is healthy, the car runs, and all seems right with the world. But found within the words “every thing, always, and all things” is the hardships, the heartaches, and the hiccups of life; the troubles, trials and tribulations that we didn’t ask for, don’t want, and would change if we could. All of us face hard times and it is hard to be thankful in hard times. It is hard to be thankful for cancer, car wrecks, broken relationships and financial difficulties.
But we can be thankful “always, for all things” when we understand God’s love and character. God is love. He loves you. He is for you, not against you.
Any hardship that God allows into our lives, He has a plan for. Jeremiah 29:11 states “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Romans 8:28 is a precious promise of God, though often misunderstood. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
God did not say all things were good. But we can be thankful in all things knowing that even the bad things God is able to work out for good.
We can be thankful in hard times because it is in those times we experience the grace of God. Paul had a “thorn in the flesh,” something that caused him hardship. When he asked God to remove it, God said no. But with the hardship God sent the grace into Paul’s life and circumstance that was needed and allowed Paul to do great things. For this Paul was glad and glorified God even when it was hard.
Finally, we can be thankful in hard times when we consider that it could always be worse. Someone out there would love to have your life even with all the struggle you may endure. As hard as we have it, it could always be worse. Thank God for the good things but thank him for the hard things too. It is often in the troubles of life that we find the greatest blessings.