Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV)20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
This means that there is no limit on the time or the extent of our thanksgiving. God’s will for us includes constant joy, ceaseless prayer, and boundless thanks.
Giving thanks; cultivates your character, increases your joy, and conquers your problems in that thanking God takes your mind off your problem and while thanking and praising God you attention is on Him. Your problems may not go away when you give thanks, but they stop being such a problem. You live from the inside out. What goes on around you no longer control the condition of the world within you. You can't control the problems that come into your life, but you can control how you respond to them.
While we can thank God in all things, we shouldn't be faking our thanks, acting like we aren't affected by or bothered by our troubles. We are human beings, and we have emotions. If we try to hide those emotions, we aren't being honest with ourselves and more importantly, we are not being honest with God. We should let our real emotions show in our conversations, or prayer time with Him.
Sometimes it really is a sacrifice to offer praise and thanks. We may not feel like it. We’re struggling. We’re weary. Or, we feel like He let us down. We think God seems distant, like he’s far away, or doesn’t really care about what’s troubling us. Life has a way of knocking you down. It always seems to happen when life is going well.
Stop faking it. It's okay. You can say anything to the Lord anytime you feel like it, and in any way, you feel like it. Now that doesn't mean that you can be disrespectful. Don’t ever forget that He is God, and He can, like our parents use to say, “I brought you into this world and I can take you out and make another one just like you”. What I mean is that you can be real with God, He won't come down on you for telling Him how you really feel. He is always open and real with you, and he wants you to be real with Him. He's your friend and he loves you. When you have a true friend, you can talk to them about anything, anytime, and pour out your soul to them. So, let’s be real with God in our conversations with Him. Our prayers should be conversations where we talk to our friend, and He talks to us and we are both open with each other.
We should let our real emotions show in our conversations with Him. After all He has emotions and He doesn’t deny them or hide them from us.
Our friendship with God deepens when we risk being open and honest as we talk with Him. Let’s stop “faking the funk”,
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope
Romans 8:28 Does Not Mean Giving Thanks with a Plastic Smile
by Alex Crain
Romans 8:28 'And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. '
Catastrophes like earthquakes, hurricanes, and even terrorist attacks remind us that, indeed, we live in a sin-cursed world. Not only do tragedies like these cause many to lose their lives, but they also often leave countless others in their wake---roiling in doubt and disbelief. The horrors of human suffering can stain our minds and souls and often obscure our vision of the God who is there. How are we supposed to respond?
Closer to home, we experience the curse of sin in personal ways through losses or disappointments that grieve the heart. We may wonder in all honesty at such times what verses like Romans 8:28 mean. Does Christ call His followers to simply put on a plastic smile and somehow grin and bear it?
Francis Schaeffer offers a helpful explanation to this dilemma in the first chapter of his classic book, True Spirituality. In fact, he says that a proper grasp of Romans 8:28 is crucial to understanding the world.
First, he takes care to point out that the Bible's view of life in the world is clear-eyed and realistic: At the Fall of man, everything became abnormal. The entire world is not what God made it to be. Therefore, Scripture verses like Romans 8:28 cannot be calling us to think…
"…that in some magical way everything is really fine when it isn't. Rather, we are to say "thank You Lord" knowing that God will somehow bring good, though we may not know how all the pieces fit together.
"It is not that Christians are to give thanks with a plastic smile, saying things are wonderful when they are hard. It is knowing that the hard things are really hard things, a result of the abnormality of the Fall, yet not revolting against God when the hard things come."
"We do honor to God and the finished work of Christ as we throw the words ‘all things' in Romans 8:28 like a circle around all things..."
"…we are contented before God… yet not complacent about the suffering of the world."
In other words, Christ neither calls us to be indifferent nor to put on a plastic smile. Rather, we are to face the facts of hard reality and then sink our roots more deeply in who He is.
What a privilege that we who are naturally God's enemies can even have a relationship of trusting Him—this faithful, sovereign, covenant keeping God who is incapable of failure. He makes and keeps great promises not only for His glory but for the ultimate good of those who are His.