Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess. 5:18 (ESV)
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isa. 41:10 (ESV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28 (NIV)
Dear heavenly Father, there are some days when it’s good (and important) to remember that you call us to offer thanks in, not for, all circumstances. The gospel isn’t about magic thinking or make-believe-living, spiritual anesthesia or circumstantial amnesia. In fact, the gospel is the only place in the universe where we don’t have to pretend about anything. That’s one of the many reasons we love you, and ARE grateful to be your children.
Father, strengthen, help, and uphold us with your righteous right hand, in stories that are recipes for dismay.
For those of us for whom Thanksgiving Day will highlight the brokenness of our family system—grant us grace and freedom to love well in the chaos.
For those of us bearing the weight of health concerns for ourselves, or those we love—grant us grace, peace, and the assurance of your nearness.
For those of us weighed down by some combination of the 6 o’clock news, financial pressures, vocational issues, and relational heartache—grant us grace, and a vision of the occupied throne of heaven.
For those of us who hear the condemning whispers of Satan louder than the consoling voice of Jesus—grant us grace, and fresh assurance that nothing can separate us from your love—that Jesus plus nothing is our righteousness, period.
Father, in these, and other scenarios of difficult circumstances, reassure us that you are very much at work—for your glory and our good. For you have called us—you have subpoenaed us to an eternal life of intimacy with yourself. You want us, you have us, and you love us. Hallelujah, now and forever we are yours. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.