“…giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:20 (NRSV)
In my life, I’ve often found it counterintuitive to offer praise to God during moments of uncertainty or suffering. It can feel more natural to give in to spiraling thoughts of anxiety or even a task list of to-dos that can serve as a guise for being in control.
While perhaps “not natural” to our human inclinations, as I reflect on Ephesians 5:20, I’m drawn to the exhortation to give thanks to God at all times and for everything [insert – even the painful stuff]. It’s curious to me that this verse follows a cautionary word about being careful with how we live “not as unwise, but as wise” and then a call to be “filled with the Spirit.”
It’s easy to want to turn to anything that eases pain when we are hurting or don’t have answers. It’s easy to hold back praise until we know the outcome will be okay. It’s hard to praise through the pain, and give thanks for a promise yet to be seen…but it’s wise.
It’s wise, because in Jesus…
We have the bread of life.
We have the breath of God.
We have a healer.
We have a lifeline.
I praise God the Father at all times and for everything because He is my lifeline, He is my bread of life, He is my healer, and He has all life, all breath, and everything in Him!
Prayer of Response:
Lord, we offer you our everything today – the painful parts, the joyful parts, and the unseen parts of us. Thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit, and the promise of your Word. Fill us afresh. Amen.
Questions to Ponder:
What does it mean for you to thank God for “everything” today? Reflect on “the good, the bad, and the ugly” in your everything, and try to make space to practice thanking God for all of it.
How has God been your lifeline in the past? Reflect on how He has shown up and spend time praising God for His presence in those moments.
—Submitted by Christy Cooper
Christy resides in Southern California with her husband Matt, preschooler Eliza and their playful four-legged pup Winnie. She is currently teaching high school English, and serving on the leadership team at her church with Family Ministries.
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