thanking God for all things

God, I thank you for our food and for our many blessings like my car whose air conditioner died right before the summer, my annoying coworker who constantly keeps giving me “projects” that she is supposed to do, the bugs that keep eating my tomato plants, my food allergies and hip that keeps hurting, that family member that constantly holds grudges, my friend who only “listens” for her turn to start talking about herself again…

Sounds strange, doesn’t it?  Do I count these things as blessings?  Trials, tribulations, minor annoyances maybe, but blessings?

“So much of our praise to the Lord is limited to the moments when we have determined that what he has done is good: the times of physical healing, financial provision, improved circumstances, restored relationships, or solved problems.  In these situations, we praise God for his faithfulness.  But what does all of this communication miss? The fact is that God is active in every moment of our lives, and that he brings all things into our lives for our redemptive good.”-Paul David Tripp

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thes. 5:18

This is really a challenging teaching if you apply it to all kinds of things that can happen in a day.  But what a change in perspective when we do this!  Instead of immediately grumbling, I have the choice to step out of the moment and see that God is using this “bad” thing to show me what is in my heart and to change me.  When I remember, as Romans 8 says, that He is working in all things to conform me to the image of Jesus Christ, it puts trials in perspective.  Then I can truly thank him for doing his work in my life.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

How about you? Look past the sunshine and simple daily provisions and see God’s hand at work in every situation.  What are some things that you can thank God for today?

[copyright, 2010, Emily Riley; A Sacrifice of Praise]