Dec 1st, 2021
The Secret Sauce: Be Thankful in All Circumstances
By: Drew Metcalfe
2 minute read 

Philippians 4:6 not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (NIV)

What does thankfulness in all circumstances mean to you? Up until now, we’ve covered the idea that we are oftentimes lulled away from a life of thankfulness, just like we can be from a life of joy or prayer, because of either life’s mundanity or plain busyness. But what happens if those practices are disrupted by more serious concerns or trials?

God doesn’t promise much in the way of His believers avoiding trials or trying circumstances. Frankly, he mostly promises the reverse: We will face trials of many kinds. How can we consider that “pure joy,” and how do we remain prayerful and thankful in it? We often want those pure joy promises from the Bible and try to draw them into our lives with the prescribed prayer and petition. I’ve never met someone who prayed for trials of many kinds. But for all intents and purposes, if we are pursuing pure joy—which is described that way because it is a testament that we are living a life of purpose through Christ Jesus—then why don’t we want those moments?

I understand that the principles of the question I am asking are slightly heavy-handed—we don’t want trials because they are called trials for a reason. If we can go our whole lives without trials, we will make all efforts to make that happen, within reason. So what gives? Why do trials indicate an opportunity to practice the things we want to grow in our lives, and how do we navigate that?

I think this is illustrated well in Matthew 7 when we are challenged to build our house on rock instead of sand. There is a storm—the storm is not a variable in this equation, it is a constant. Everyone sees it and experiences it. That storm represents the trials of life, and the variable is the sand or rock on which our “house” is built. When we have built on rock, experience the storm, and see that our life isn’t crumbling around us, we are bound to find joy in that moment. The trials may still be there, but so is the faith and trust in the Lord that has been developed from the practices we have instilled in our lives. Our continual joy, prayer, and thankfulness, combined with the other areas in which the Lord is growing us, can stand against the trials. And when we come out victorious on the other side—potentially worse for wear, but victorious nonetheless—we have evidence that the Lord is with us, and He is ready to provide the rest we need after our long season of burden.

Today, pray for courage to face the trials when they come, but also pray for the Lord to show you how to be ready before they come, and include Him in that growth.

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