3 Kingdom Keys for Giving Thanks to God in All Circumstances
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says that, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” (MEV) All areas of your life move through seasons – naturally and spiritually. Your journey of faith will experience sunny seasons, stormy seasons, clouds, thunder and lightening, darkness, drought and rain and blooming, hurricanes, budding and bounty. That is why giving thanks to God for in all circumstances must be part of your life no matter the season.
The Apostle Paul wrote that giving thanks in everything was the will of God, (1 Thess. 5:18) but how is that possible when some things are just very, very bad? In Psalm 4:6 David noted that many people ask “Lord, who will show us any good?” It is easy to look around and see all the bad things. It takes spiritual perspective to see how to praise God when life is hard.
Spiritual vision is often clouded by the natural realm because the experiences of the world feel so real. And yet, in the true reality of God’s Kingdom the dead are alive, the sick are healed, the lame walk, the blind see, the brokenhearted rejoice, the enemy has been defeated and there is no more suffering or pain. Worship is an action of faith and ministry to God that doesn’t change even when life does.
Giving Thanks to God in All Circumstances is a Victory Won
Remember there are no promises that life will be good. Only God is good, but you have been promised that His “goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life” as you “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6) Dwelling in the house of the Lord is an integral foundation for worship because the Lord dwells in the praise of His people. (Psalm 22:3)
David cried out, “Who will show us any good”? What is there to give thanks for? Plenty of people who are disappointed with God and they cry out asking:
- “Who will show us any good” in all this bad?
- “Who will show us any good” in all this sickness?
- “Who will show us any good” in this divorce?
- “Who will show us any good” in this loneliness?
- “Who will show us any good” in this addiction?
- “Who will show us any good” in this pain?
- “Who will show us any good” in this injustice?
- “Who will show us any good” in this unrelenting depression?
Asaph wrote, “This is my grief, yet I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate also on all Your works and ponder on Your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:10-12)
Yet while the rest of the world searches for “good”, Asaph and David searched for GOD, who is good – and that is what turns mourning into dancing.
“This is my grief,” Asaph said. Asaph ran to the Lord with his pain. He poured out his heart to the Lord, but then said this one, powerful word: YET…
Psalm 145:5-6 says, “I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.” (NLT)
As Asaph did and as David did, you can offering the sacrifice of praise and minister to the Lord with thanksgiving in all circumstances, recalling to your mind His words, His wonders, His mighty deeds, thanking Him and blessing Him and – He will minister to you.
3 Kingdom Keys to Giving Thanks to God in all Circumstances
The Apostle Paul had first-hand experience praising God in hard times, and in disappointment and suffering, and his life was filled with power, miracles and the presence of God. “Rejoice alway,” he wrote to the Philippians. Because he was crazy? No! Because Paul knew that his joy didn’t come from what was going on around him. Hard times come to everyone, but joy of the Lord was his strength.
Kingdom Key #1 : “REJOICE ALWAYS”
“Rejoice always,” Paul wrote. And yet in 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 he wrote:
“Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I suffered shipwreck; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by my own countrymen, in perils by the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brothers; in weariness and painfulness, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness…” (MEV)
…while the rest of the world searches for “good”, Asaph and David searched for GOD, who is good – and that is what turns mourning into dancing.~Alicia Purdy
Yet in spite of all those seasons of trials and hardships, he wrote in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” How could he say such faith-filled words and live in that spiritual reality even as he sat in physical chains? Because his praise had nothing to do with his circumstances. (Acts 16:25)
The joy of the Lord is your strength, Nehemiah said. (Neh. 8:10). In the presence of the Lord is “fullness of joy”, David said. (Psalm 16:11) The point of origin for praise is gratitude. Build your life around the spiritual discipline of entering His gates with thanksgiving to “rejoice always” and you’ll find the strength to endure whatever season life hurls at you.
Kingdom Key #2: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
Prayer is how you keep an open spirit of two-way communication with the Lord. Prayer is how He speaks to you while you listen, and how you speak to Him while He listens.
“…The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing,” Paul wrote, “But in all circumstances, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:5-7)
Prayer is not an attempt to move God’s hand, nor send Him on your errands nor tell Him the plans you have for His blessings. Prayer is a Kingdom-to-earth partnership whereby you, on earth, invite the Lord to access the natural reality from His place in the Kingdom. Of course, God doesn’t need anyone’s permission, but He wants it. He wants invited access into your life. He has a plan for you!
Through the communion of prayer, God wants to show Himself to you through revelation and relationship, and He wants to show you yourself as He knows you in every circumstance.
…God wants to show Himself to you through revelation and relationship, and He wants to show you yourself as He knows you...~Alicia Purdy
“Pray without ceasing,” Paul wrote (1 Thess. 5:17) In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus demonstrated seven prayer principles you can following to develop a lifestyle of prayer.
- Ephesians 6:18 MEV says, “Pray in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication. To that end be alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” When Paul wrote to pray with “all kinds of prayer”, He meant that your conversation with the Lord should be ongoing!
- 1 Corinthians 14:15 MEV says, “I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding…” You can pray with the words of your mouth, the words of your mind and the words of your spirit and God can understand them all!
- Job 42:10 MEV says, “…the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends…” You have a significant role to play in the lives of other believers. As the seasons of your life unfold, pray for theirs as well, as the Lord leads.
- Paul did the same writing, “I thank my God for every reminder of you. In every prayer of mine for you all, I have always made requests with joy, due to your fellowship in the gospel…” (Philippians 3:3-5 MEV)
Kingdom Key #3: IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS
1 Thess. 5:18, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Giving thanks to God in everything is a spiritual act of strength that you cannot possess, because the source of that supernatural strength is God Himself. But don’t wait until you need faith to get faith!
If you are not connected to the Spirit of God in the thanksgiving of worship, which is your point of vital connection to Him, the enemy will kick you down and keep you there as long as you are willing to stay. However, by ministering the Lord in worship, the Lord surrounds you like a shield and will lift you up. (Psalm 3:3) He promised!
“In everything give thanks,” Paul wrote. He meant in every season, give thanks to the Lord in worship – not “FOR” everything give thanks! But the reality is this: If your heart is truly grateful toward the Lord, you’ll always have something for which to worship the Lord, even in the worst and darkest times.
Worship is about ministry to God. Seeking ministry from God in worship is a wrong motivation. God will be faithful to minister to you (Genesis 22:13), but your role is to bring a sacrifice of praise, blessing His name. He’ll take care of the rest.
Thought for today: The Darker the Days, the Higher the Praise
People who are victorious and overcoming in the hard seasons of their lives are always people of praise and worship to the Lord. Worship is a weapon of war. It is a spiritual strategy to bring God the glory and you the victory! If you’re committed to praising God in difficult times, you will find the victory you’ve been searching for- and it will start within you before you see it anywhere else.
When you offer God the sacrifice of praise in all circumstances (remember, a sacrifice doesn’t want to die!), He honors that sacrifice and He understands what it’s costing you, even more than you know, because He sent His own Son as a sacrifice. You won’t always feel like worshipping, and that is what makes it a true sacrifice.
Giving thanks to God in everything is centered around a heart condition. If you’re struggling, seek the Lord in His Word. Confess your struggle to Him. (He already knows!) Find another Christian to talk to about how you feel, and ask the deeper questions. The enemy wants you weak and confused and mad at God, so if you’re going to withstand Satan’s attacks, you don’t need God on your side – He already is! In every season, in every circumstance, you need to be on His.
Dig Deeper into God’s Word for You about Worship:
“How to Renew Your Covenant with God Through Worship”
“5 Weaknesses You Need Help With to be Strong in the Lord”
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!