Thank you Lord for your grace, mercy, and unfailing love. That’s the prayer I was praying as I woke up this morning. I had gone to bed praying for the victims of the recent disasters that have affected so many. Though I wasn’t affected, that night I had a dream I was right in the mist of a flood. Up to my knees I was immersed in water. I remember thinking as I was clinging on for dear life, “I didn’t know my day was going to end up like this!” Then I thought, “But God did.” Suddenly, I felt a sense of calm. Although I wasn’t aware how my dream was going to end, I felt assured I would be okay. I still had hope because even in my dream I had a sense that God was still in control; He had me in His arms. Knowing this caused me to wake up, thanking Him.
As my mind began to focus on to the reality of the morning I though, it’s easy to thank God when times are going well. But what about when things are not going so well, times of turmoil, hardship, and disaste, as many are experiencing today? How do we encourage others (even ourselves) to hold on to a spirit of gratitude when all have been lost except life itself?
I tell you my friends, first we must believe and take God at His Word. He is in control. We must be compassionate and understanding that during these times people hearts are broken and in need of hope. They need to know “why” they should still expressed or maintain gratitude in times that appear hopeless. There is a scripture that reads, “I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope” (Psalm 130:5 KJV). Knowing this scripture will help people to get through the most difficult times of their lives.
There is another scripture that reads, “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing” (Psalm 107:22 KJV). When I read this Psalm, I realized the Israelites were going through some pretty difficult times in the wilderness, yet God encouraged them to maintain gratitude in spite of what they were going through; “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8,15,21,31)
God wanted them to know He was still their God, keeper, and protector; as He is ours. He is Good. Knowing this helps us to hold on in hope. Even when we don’t feel like offering thanksgiving, we are encouraged to do so. Though hard times will arrive we should, through faith and God’s strength, offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving to Him simply because of who He is; not based on how we feel. God is definitely aware of our feeling; He knows our hurt. Still, we must be thankful and pray, asking God for words to encourage others to hold on to hope, regardless of what they’re going through.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to everyman that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” 1 Peter 3:15 KJV).
In God, I will keep on thanking Him for the Hope that lies within me. By Hertistine Washington/ keeponthanking.com