Dear Friend of Vision
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Th. 5:16-18)
A dear friend has been battling cancer for some time. By the grace of God and excellent and innovative medical care he is in remission and doing well. However, early in the battle he was, as perhaps most of us would, fighting with faith, knowing he must trust in the Lord (really, what reasonable option do we have) and that he should be grateful, even for the cancer. Well, this passage of scripture jumped into my thought…yes, we are to rejoice always (when there is something to rejoice over) and in everything, but not for everything are we to give thanks. I for one will never be grateful for sickness or disease, as this state of being is less than heaven on earth for us. I will not rejoice for poverty but have learned to give thanks for daily bread even when the bank account is limited.
In the middle of sickness and disease (I do not deny that sickness and disease may visit any of us, but trust him that the gifts of healing will be released) we can still rejoice, for the things that we do have, the relationships we cherish, the breath we take, and we can give thanks, for though life stinks sometimes, God is good, and we all must choose to give things an rejoice, in spite our circumstances.
Having said this, I must also categorically say, it is easy for me to say rejoice and be glad in everything when things are going well. My hope for you and I is the courage to truly rejoice and give thanks with trouble comes. Like anything, practicing before you need it makes it easier to implement when we need it.