“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
In the topsy-turvy baseball life, it's easy to feel sorry for ourselves when things get tough: your husband is on the DL and finds out he has to have surgery; he gets traded midseason, or worse, released; you and all the kids get sick during a 2 week road trip.
These are just examples of things the enemy uses to tempt us into losing our gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord.nAll of these situations are frustrating, and can lead us into crying out, “Why me?!” If we are't careful, we can easily slip into a pit of self-pity and complaining. This is human, but in Christ we are different; we are new creatures. We have Christ’s supernatural strength to draw from.
In these times of frustration we must pull ourselves back to a place of thanksgiving and gratitude. Keeping our focus on all that the Lord has blessed us with is a surefire way to reverse our negative thinking.
We have a superb example to follow in the Bible - the supreme “lemons to lemonade” man - Paul. He wrote his letter to the Colossians from a Roman prison. In Colossians 1:3, he writes, “We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” A few lines later in verse 9, he says, “So we have continued praying for you ever since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.”
So let me get this straight - Paul is writing from a dark nasty prison, yet he is giving encouragement to others and thanks to the Lord? I know if I was in any form of prison, encouraging others and gratitude would be the last thing on my mind! However, Paul was so filled with the Holy Spirit that he did not focus on his many problems and impossible situation. All he cared about was sharing his “Light,” the Gospel. I get frustrated and lose my Christian “light” so easily, over little frivolous interruptions or inconveniences. Yet Paul was able to let his light shine through prison walls.
Prayer: Lord, please help me when self-pity and lack of gratitude enter my heart. Help me to focus on you and your promises rather than on my temporary situation.
Suggested Reading: Philippians 4