Thanking God in the midst of trials

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otseng
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Thanking God in the midst of trials

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Act 16:23-25
And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

In the midst of trials, can you praise and thank God?

Paul and Silas were whipped and thrown into prison for exorcising a demon possessed woman. How did they respond to their situation? Did they ask, "How can God allow bad things to happen to us?" Did they complain to God that they did not deserve such ill treatment? No, they prayed and sang praise songs. And they did it so loudly that all the other prisoners heard them.

In the midst of your darkest hour, when you are in the dungeon, when you have lost hope, when you are in a situation you do not deserve, when you are bound, it is the time to loudly pray and thank God.

"The Christian should meet adverse circumstances of life not with a spirit of stoic resignation but with a spirit of unfailing gratitude."
Hiebert

"People become worried, anxious, and fearful because they do not trust in God’s wisdom, power, or goodness. They fear that God is not wise enough, strong enough, or good enough to prevent disaster. It may be that this sinful doubt is because their knowledge of Him is faulty, or that sin in their lives has crippled their faith. Thankful prayer brings release from fear and worry, because it affirms God’s sovereign control over every circumstance, and that His purpose is the believer’s good."
MacArthur

Thanking God is recognizing God is in control and has a purpose for everything, including trials.

It is not the situations that leads our minds into darkness, but it is not thanking God that leads us down the path of darkness.

Rom 1:21 - Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused.

When we thank God in times of trouble, it will cause the very foundations to shake. The forces imprisoning us will be opened. The chains that bind us will be broken.

Act 16:26 NIV - Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone's chains came loose.

Open your heart to God and pour out your burdens. Thank him for whatever situation you are in.

Phl 4:6 NLT - Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

Rev 7:12 NLT - They sang, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen."

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Post #2

Post by Overcomer »

Thanks for posting this, otseng. It's all so pertinent given the current status of things in the world.

I have been studying the Biblical genre of lament. Laments basically consist of four parts -- the address, the complaint, the petition and, ultimately, an assertion of trust in and praise for the Lord.

I have never heard anything about laments in a church setting -- no Bible studies on the topic and no sermons. I think maybe we are expected to be stoics in our suffering. Or maybe we are accused of lacking faith if we voice our displeasure at what's going on in our lives.

But laments are part of God's Word. I think God gave laments for us as an example of how we should approach him in the face of tragedy, suffering, and loss. And while they contain a complaint (sometimes about God himself), they don't end there. They move to a petition, asking God to set things right and, ultimately, they end in praise because they know who God is. They know his attributes and, in particular, his love for his people.

So I think it's fine to complain to God, but, ultimately, as you say, otseng, we are to praise him for who he is, for his gift of Jesus, for all the blessings that we so often lose sight of in tough times.

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Post #3

Post by otseng »

Overcomer wrote: I have never heard anything about laments in a church setting -- no Bible studies on the topic and no sermons. I think maybe we are expected to be stoics in our suffering. Or maybe we are accused of lacking faith if we voice our displeasure at what's going on in our lives.
I agree. It's not a topic typically talked about. But, lament is throughout the Bible.

Our church recently had a guest speaker who gave a powerful message about lament.
When life is really hard, we should tell God that life is really hard. Ajay Thomas, the pastor from Seven Mile Road Church in Philadelphia, looks at Psalm 88 in his message "A Nightlight For Those In Darkness."
Can listen to the message here:
https://www.perimeter.org/messages/seri ... n-darkness

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Post #4

Post by Overcomer »

Thank you so much for posting that link, otseng. That was an excellent sermon. I have started writing a Bible study on the topic of lament and I am going to incorporate some ideas from that preacher into it.

So thanks again! I appreciate it.

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Post #5

Post by otseng »

[Replying to post 4 by Overcomer]

You're very welcome!

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