Okay, I admit I used salty language to see if you might more likely read this. Admit it! You were more inclined to open this Post because of it 🙂 God can get a bad rap sometimes because of what we say God requires of us. Now, if you are in the habit of thanking God for the horrible stuff in your life and it helps, by all means don’t change. But, you may be like me. The more God makes sense to me the better the relationship. Do we really have to thank God for all our suffering and the tragedies that seem to happen on a daily basis in our world?
We often quote the Bible as if written one sentence at a time. Imagine if someone pulled a sentence out of a letter you wrote and made a mountain out of a molehill. Writers always assume readers will use discernment for their own individual circumstances.
Jesus said turn the other cheek but He didn’t expect women to continue to suffer abuse at the hands of a man. I have written that partners should treat one another like best friends. But, if your partner continually betrays you, you may need to stop viewing them as a friend to protect yourself. You aren’t necessarily doing them a favor by enabling this behavior to continue.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thess. 5:18). Paul goes on to say to reject whatever is harmful (v. 22). Should I stop and express gratitude for extreme temptations before I run like Hell? Paul says in the same context to warn those who are idle and disruptive. Do I have to thank God for their behavior before lovingly confronting them? Must those abused thank God for their abuse when the guilty continue to lie and claim that they are innocent of such horrible behaviors?
Some when told they must thank God for suffering in their life may assume their suffering is some divine plan. This is no biblical evidence that God is the cause of all good and bad things in our life.
There may be some benefits from time to time thanking God for certain difficult circumstances. Sometimes I am better equipped to help one in their suffering because I have walked in their shoes. Failing at reaching my goals can lead to a deeper appreciation once I experience success. I may be thankful God is by my side in difficult times, but I don’t necessarily have to think God plans or desires such times.
Do I have to thank God for all bad things to be truly godly?
Each must decide what works for them to remain encouraged and steadfast. Some feel more supported by their Creator when having the following conversation with God: “God, I know you didn’t cause or want me to experience this tragedy in my life. I know shit happens in a free world. Thank you for helping me to somehow turn a negative into a positive by persevering. Help me to control those things that I can control. Please stay with me always and give me wisdom how to handle each step of this journey.