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His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:3)

End Time Rain Article

A Grateful Heart

The Bible’s antidote to anxiety is thanksgiving. Paul’s counsel in Philippians 4:4-6 is for us to rejoice (in the Lord) always and to do so continually (v4). This is not to say that we must exist in a state of contrived euphoria when our circumstances are very distressing, but that in every situation, we should seek to find a reason to be cheerful in the Lord. Paul goes on to say in verse 6 that we must not worry about anything but in everything give thanks. However, this state of thanksgiving is to be juxtaposed with prayer and supplication.
How does this work? Well the answer is in the phrase “in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God” (v6). The same formula of rejoicing, thanksgiving and praying is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
In this verse Paul adds the rationale for this Christian conduct: it is the will of God in Christ. Christianity requires us to respond intelligently to our situations. We are not left to wonder how we must do the things that are seemingly impossible we are instead to seek the one with whom “nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37). Thanksgiving is the correct response of a believer in every situation they find themselves in whether good or bad, joyful or distressing. It is what God expects of us and it is possible to do so with his enabling (with prayer and supplications present your requests unto God).
Perhaps you remain perplexed by the notion that God expects us to be continually thankful. We are told in Hebrews 12:2 that it was “the joy that was set before” Jesus that enabled him to “endure the cross and despise the shame.” Jesus expressed negative emotions: he wept at the graveside of Lazarus and was sorrowful almost to the point of death in the garden of Gethsemane.
It was momentary - that flash of humanity to remind us that like Jesus, we need to rely upon our Heavenly Father to overcome temptation. I put it to you that Jesus’ joy can be our joy too. The same verse tells us to look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Faith then alongside prayer, needs to be exercised by a believer in order to maintain an attitude of thanksgiving: one commentator suggests that we ‘praytest’ rather than ‘protest’.
It is interesting that we find both in the Old and New Testaments characters such as Jehoshaphat, David, Mary, Paul and Silas who praised, thanked and worshipped God before there was any evidence evidence of deliverance. One could call it ‘extreme faith’. The expression of continual thanksgiving is a demonstration of extreme faith that is only possible through prayer and supplication to the one that knows us best, loves us the most and has ordained it be a spiritual discipline for believers. By thanking God, we are letting him know that like his love towards us, our gratitude towards him is unconditional. We are also making a statement to onlookers that our circumstances do not define our relationship with God. Like Job we will say “though he slay me yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).

Karen Plumb, End Time Rain

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