When We Rejoice
By Dr. Charles Stanley
There is awesome power in praise and thanksgiving. Something amazing happens when we rejoice and glorify God regardless of our circumstances. Not only does our gratefulness honor the Father in the manner He deserves, but it also refocuses our attention on His ability to help us, releases us from anxiety, and reinforces our faith.
Of course, if you are facing a painful season of trials and disappointments right now, this may be a difficult principle for you to practice. You may even be wondering, “How can I possibly give thanks to the Lord when I am hurting and don’t understand why?”
But there is a reason the apostle Paul instructs us to, “16 Rejoice evermore.17 Pray without ceasing.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thess. 5:16-18). He understood it does our spirits good and exalts the Father when we trust and praise Him.
An attitude of thanksgiving can turn any situation from hopeless to triumphant. We see it throughout Scripture in I Samuel 17:46-47; 2 Chronicles 20:20 & 22; Acts 16:25-26. There is freedom and power in worship. Like David, Jehoshaphat, and Paul, when you praise God in the midst of your adversity, you are not permitting temporary emotions or circumstances to rule you.
Rather, you are allowing the Father to strengthen your faith, purify your life, and prepare you for greater things. But how can you keep your heart focused on the Lord’s provision when you’re hurting?
What truth should you concentrate on so you can give thanks when everything seems to be against you?
First remember that God is in absolute control, no matter how bad things seem. This is the key to being able to endure difficulties.
Second, know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. This does not mean the Lord caused your trial. Rather it means that if He has permitted some issue or challenge to touch your life, it is for a good purpose. You do to need to understand why He has allowed the difficulty or how it could possible benefit you.
There may be some hardships you face that you will never comprehend this side of heaven. However, you can be certain He loves you and wants to give you His best blessings—and that is always cause for praise.