Today I was reminded to give thanks. It's something to simple yet in our culture very very over looked. Tonight I heard a pastor teach about 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Basically this verse says that God wants us to give him praise no matter what.
This reminded me of a situation that I haven't told many people about, mostly because it blew me away. I have seen a lot of things in my life and am not very often surprised. When I talk about being blew away, it means it changed me forever.
Here's what happened. If you know me you know I often dislike my job. The reason I don't like it is because basically I have a pastor's heart and there I'm almost forced to be a jerk. When I'm not a jerk I get fussed at. One day I had an evaluation by someone who doesn't like me at all. They basically said all the horrible things they could think of and how horrible I was at this job.
That day like many days a church volunteer group comes in. I was feeling pretty bad at this point right. So the the pastor preaches like normal and during the song he walks over to me. He leans over to me and says "don't give up now preacher, it'll get better." Before you ask, I've never seen this man before. When I looked at him he just smiles at me and walks away. I quickly realized that I just physically heard from God. I've never seen the guy, or even told the guy that I'm a pastor at all. He's never seen me. A few months later he came back and asked me if things got better. When I said yes he said that I should praise God and wait for the next thing.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says for us to give God praise no matter what happens and that's what God wants us do. This moment changed my life. I began looking at this job as somewhere that God's placed me until I get to the next thing that God has for me. I began giving God praise for the job, and that changed my life. Now even though I don't necessarily like being a jerk, I've changed how I approach the job.
So can you give thanks to God no matter what? Can you praise God when you have to go to a job that frustrates you daily? Can you praise God when you lose a friend? It's easy to praise God when we have something great happen, but how about when our life is falling apart? Think about this, praise God anyways. Often when I get frustrated because something isn't working out, I find out that God had something planned and I see how it was for the best. Sometimes I don't see the outcome, but again I must praise no matter what.
God Rocks, Jtw