TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Rick Warren said, “In happy moments, praise God. In difficult moments, seek God. In quiet moments, worship God. In painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.”
Over 600,000 Americans died in our Civil War. It remains the deadliest war ever for the United States. It is inspiring, then, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed our modern celebration of Thanksgiving in 1863, right in the middle of the worst war we’ve ever fought, that threatened to tear our nation apart. If Americans could give thanks in the midst of such death and reckless hate, surely we can give thanks in the middle of our troubles.
Another reason we should give thanks for bad things is because it shows we are trusting in God’s purpose. One often-quoted Scripture is Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Contrary to what the health-and-wealth preachers say, this verse does not mean that everything in your life will go the way you want it to go. What it does mean is that no matter what happens, it fits into God’s overarching plan for your life. So even the bad things in life are allowed for our good, whether it be punishment for sin or a trial to test our faith. Just as you can be thankful for the pain of a surgery or the pain of exercise because you know it is for your good, you should be thankful for the bad things in life. If you believe that God is in total control of your life, you can be thankful for the bad things because you know they will work out for good.
During this Thanksgiving holiday and through the rest of your life, follow the will of God for your life and be thankful for the good things and bad things.
Here are 4 places you ought to reach in your Christian life:
First, you want to move to the point where you count your trials, tribulations, and troubles in your faith as joy.
Second, you want to move to the point where you want God to give you that ability to see your entire life in front of you: past, present, and future.
Third, you want to prepare for painful times.
Fourth, you want to understand that bad times happen to you so that you can become a comfort to others.
Here are 3 bad things that happened in my life that I am now thankful for:
First, the home life that I was raised in was bad, but because I did not have good parents I was motivated to write Letters to Young Black Men and become a father to many.
Second, when God chastised me for sin in my life. It showed me to be obedient for God’s blessings.
Third, God told me to leave where i started the church and turn it over to someone else, but I didn’t want to because I liked the comfort of the pastorate. But then some problems happened in my marriage and my wife and I temporarily separated but God meant that evil for good because God moved me to where He wanted me to be.
The Life Prayer
God, prepare us for good days and bad days,
prepare us for celebrations and tragedies,
prepare us for weddings and funerals,
prepare us for life and death.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.