I Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In EVERY thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." It's been hard, at times, to "give thanks" in God allowing the death of a dearly beloved son. Or, the loss of my daughter's health. Or watching my wife's daily pain. Or the loss of a speaking voice my ministry career seemed to depend on. But thanking our Precious Lord, ESPECIALLY in the midst of such, is a beautiful and profound expression of FAITH. Faith in the TRUTH; that our God is still in perfect, sovereign control of ALL things. That He is LOVE INCARNATE, and that I am the UNCEASING OBJECT of that perfect, unfailing LOVE, though what is happening in the life of His child may look and feel like the very opposite of what love would allow (Psalm 103:13; John 13:1; 15:9; 17:23; I John 4:16) That He is All-merciful, minutely attentive and infinitely kind ("His eye IS on the sparrow; and I KNOW He watches me" -- Matthew 10:29-31). And that He is WELL able to give "beauty for ashes," and "work ALL things together for good," when WE can't see a speck of anything we'd call "good" in what we're experiencing, and no semblance of "beauty" seems to appear anywhere on our horizon. By FAITH, I thank Him, even for the darkness and pain. By FAITH, I thank my God, even for my brokenness. As Paul thanked God for his "thorn" . . . As Corrie ten Boom's sister, Betsie, thanked God "yes, even for the lice" in the Ravensbruk concentration camp . . . As Milton, the great Puritan poet, thanked God upon going blind. I thank God for that unparalleled opportunity to honor Him as my Sovereign and Loving Lord that comes ONLY in the midst of crushing pain, bewildering adversity and deep consternation of soul.
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