Never have I heard of a person actually doing this.
When the pastor opens up the service to a time of thanksgiving, people in the crowd lift up their voices to worship God for their salvation, provision, family, and more.
I don’t recall anyone ever saying:
Thank you God that life is hard right now.
A few days ago, I posted the words to “Blessed Be His Name” by Matt Redman. This song is a powerful reminder that in times of trial, as well as in times of ease, we are to bless the name of the Lord. Worship songs abound with lyrics proclaiming God’s goodness in spite of our present difficulties.
But we’re called to rejoice in our tribulations:
“Thank You, Lord, for the persecution I receive as a Christian in my workplace, allowing me to be a light in the darkness for You.”
“Praise Your name, God, for my illness, which is building character in me.”
“Bless You, Father, for the postponement of my heart’s desire. I am learning to persevere.”
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5
I’ve never heard this from anyone who is in the midst of a difficult time. However, I have experienced it first-hand after I’ve come through the purifying crucible fire. It is then that I recognize that what I would have spared myself from, actually produced growth, maturity and a deepening of my faith.
As they approached the furnace, I bet Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not eagerly anticipating the fire. As the sweat began pouring down their faces and the men delivering them to the blaze died around them, I bet their hearts beat a little faster. However, while they were in the midst of it, as Nebuchadnezzar peered through the flames at them, they were walking with Jesus.
Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the midst of the fire. The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them. Daniel 3:26b-27, emphasis mine
So, thank you, God, for the things in my life that are hard.
I praise You and trust that You know better than I. I am grateful to You that I can walk through those times, knowing that the fire can have no effect on me, other than the effects You intend for my good.
What has God walked you through, that was painful at the time, but you rejoice in now?
Or, in general, what things are you grateful for today?