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Giving Thanks Always

Trusting God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Giving Thanks Always

There are corollary responses to trusting God that are also important

Thanksgiving

We are to be thankful in good times and bad
Being thankful is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is something we learn as we grow as a believer.
the unbeliever isn’t naturally thankful.
They may congratulate themselves on their success or blame others when things go wrong.
A telling scripture on the condition of the unsaved:
Romans
Romans 1:21 ESV
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Throughout our study, we’ve studied that we are to bring glory to God through all the circumstances we face. This is one of the things which makes us different from the unbeliever.

Thanksgiving is an admission of dependence.

In the physical realm, God gives us life and breath and everything else.
In the spiritual sense, God made us alive again through the sacrifice of His Son who died for our sins.
Everything we are, we owe to Him.
1 Corinthians 4:7 ESV
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

We need to be thankful in all situations - good and bad.

tells the story of the ten lepers who were crying out to be healed. All were, but only one came back and thanked Jesus for the healing.
Our human nature isn’t to forget to give thanks. Our human nature is that we are to preoccupied with our own condition to care about others and what they have given up.
As Christians, we must grow an attitude of always being thankful and grateful.
This is implanted in us by the Holy Spirit when we’re saved.
This story makes sense to us. We should find ourselves like the one giving thanks, but there are times we forget. This is an element when the person was receiving something good.
When we struggle with giving thanks is in the time of hardship or things not going our way.

Why should we be thankful in the difficult situations we will face?

What happens if one person is healed from a horrible disease, but another person contracts something that is just as bad or worse?
This has been the basis for this entire book.

It is the firm belief that God is at work in all things - ALL OUR CIRCUMSTANCES - for our good.

If we truly trust Him, we must believe that His sovereignty, wisdom, and love are with us through all the twists and turns our lives will take, good and bad.
He is working for our good.
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
We are to give thanks in everything because we know that in all things God is at work for our good.

We must realize God is at work in a preactive, not reactive, fashion.

God doesn’t react to a bad situation in our lives and decide how He is going to turn it around and make it good.
He already knows how it is going to work for our good.
He is already actively involved in the adversity before He either allows it to happen or permits it to.
Joseph recognized this when He told his brothers that they intended to harm him, but if they hadn’t done what they did, God wouldn’t have been able to put Joseph in the place he was at.
Paul therefore tells us to

Give thanks in all circumstances, FOR THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR YOU IN CHRIST JESUS.

Giving thanks in all circumstances is part of God’s moral will for our lives.

Giving thanks in all circumstances, whether good or bad, is another response to our trusting God.

Worship - another response to the trustworthiness of God.

We must do this in good and bad times as well.
job
Job 1:20–21 ESV
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Instead of being against God, Job worshiped Him.

Worship involves a two-directional view.

looking upward we see
His majesty
goodness,
grace
our sovereign Creator
He’s worthy to be
worshiped
served obeyed
looking at ourselves we
recognize our dependence on God
see our sinfulness before Him
we are mere creatures
unworthy sinners
we fail to
worship
serve
obey

We deserve nothing from Him but eternal judgement.

We are continuously in His debt
There is another dimension to God’s sovereignty. We’ve seen He has control over all the actions of His creatures

His sovereignty also includes His absolute right to do as He pleases with us.

He had no obligation towards us to send His Son for our sins.
Exodus 33:19 ESV
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Here, God is saying He is under no obligation to anyone.
Worshiping God during the rough times is an acknowledgement of who He is and who we are. No matter what we have or don’t have, everything is a gift from our Heavenly Father.
God doesn’t just wield His sovereignty as if He doesn’t care. He showed how much He loves and cares for us through the sacrifice of His Son.
He also will use all the things we go through to try and make us more like His Son.
As we worship Him we can rest knowing that He is using His power for us, not against us.

Humility Humility

Humility

1 peter 5:
1 Peter 5:6–7 ESV
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

We should show humility in God’s dealings with us.

We should cast our anxieties, which come from the adversities His hand brings into our lives, on Him.
We are to accept the adversities, not the anxieties.
We tend to do the opposite.
The way we can cast our anxieties on the Lord is to humble ourselves under His sovereignty and then trust in His wisdom and love.

Humility should be both a response to adversity and a fruit of it as well.

Paul said the thorn in his flesh was to keep him humble.

Humility should be both a response to adversity and a fruit of it as well.

Paul said the thorn in his flesh was to keep him humble.

2 Corinthians 12:7 ESV
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
If Paul had a tendency toward pride, then we do as well.
When we have a blessing, we should expect there to be something to come along and humble us as well. That way, we know our strength is in Him and not ourselves.
We have two ways we can respond to our thorns:

We can fight it and be miserable from all the anxiety and stress it will cause us.

We can humble ourselves before God and cast our anxiety and stress to Him.

We can humble ourselves before God and cast our anxiety and stress to Him.
James 4:6 ESV
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Forgiveness

Adversity often comes to us through the actions of other people.

Sometimes they are directed at us.

Sometimes they are directed at us.

Adversity often comes to us through the actions of other people.

Sometimes they are directed at us.
Sometimes they are directed at us.
Sometimes we are the victims of someone else’s bad decisions.
How do we respond to this?
With love and forgiveness
We tend to seek revenge and try to get even, even when the person may not have meant to hurt us in the process.
Two truths to help us forgive others

We are all sinners and there are times when we have hurts others whether intentionally or unintentionally.

We are all sinners and there are times when we have hurt others unintentionally.

Ecclesiastes 7:21–22 ESV
Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
ecc 7
Let’s restate or turn this verse around a little:

“Do not resent other people who are the instruments of adversity in your life, for you know in your hear that you have sometimes been the instrument of adversity in the lives of others.”

God wants us to forgive others. If I want God to forgive me when I purposefully or unpurposefully hurt others, then I must forgive the ones who do these things to me.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Second, I need to look beyond the person who is only the instrument to see what God has purposed for what I am going through right now.

Lamentations 3:37 ESV
Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?
However these events came about that are bringing me hardship, I need to realize that God has allowed it and He is trying to teach me something through it.
We must realize that God is using these actions for our good. Once again, hard when you’re in the middle of it.

Prayer for Deliverance

Though we recognize that God may be using these hard times to teach us lessons about ourselves or make us more like Him, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray for deliverance from these situations.
Even Jesus prayed that the upcoming crucifixion could be spared Him
Matthew 26:39 ESV
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

When the outcome is unsure, continue to pray that God will take care of the matter. But always pray in the manner that Jesus did. God’s will, not ours.

There are also times when we will be engaging in spiritual warfare. In those instances, we need to pray for the strength of God to endure the battle, but also that He would end the battle as well.

We don’t know why God allows Satan to attack us, but we do know that He has to give him permission to do so.
We also know that when we are attacked in this way, that God places limits on Satan and what he is allowed to do.
While praying for these situations to end, we should also be humble in the fact we know that God is in control. This is shown when we pray for His will and not ours.

Seeking God’s Glory

In all of our troubles, we should seek to glorify God through them. Paul shows us this while he’s in prison. Even when people who were preaching the Gospel were causing him heartache.
Philippians 1:14–17 ESV
And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.
philippians

Paul’s response - Christ is being preached. Whether under false pretenses or what, the message of salvation is being heard.

Philippians 1:18 ESV
What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
A huge example of Christian maturity. We should all strive to get there.
Position and someone takes it. You and the music position.
We must see the hand of God in all these situations.
A quotation from Alexander Carson to help us draw all the truths from situations we are going to face:
“Nothing can be more consoling to the man of God, than the conviction that the Lord who made the world governs the world; and that every event, great and small, prosperous and adverse, is under the absolute disposal of him who doth all things well, and who regulates all things for the good of this people....The Christian will be confident and courageous in duty, in proportion as he views God in his Providence as ruling in the midst of his enemies; and acting for the good of his people, as well as for his own glory, even in the persecution of the Gospel.

Can You Trust God?

We have seen He is trustworthy.
He exercises His sovereignty in a loving and wise way for our good.
Yes, we can trust God.
Another way to ask the question, Can you trust God?
To be able to trust God in the tough times, you must have a personal relationship with him.
Only as you grow deeper in your relationship with him, will you be able to more fully trust Him in every aspect of your life and not try to build fences around the areas you want to control.
As we continue to do these things and trust more fully, then we will be able to say with confidence and strength, Yes, I can trust God.
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