I am going to give you a quote to start this off, so here it is:
“God doesn’t expect me to be thankful FOR all circumstance, but IN all circumstances. There’s a huge difference. The first attitude is masochism. The second shows maturity.” California mega-church pastor Rick Warren, writing in Time magazine about thankfulness during what he called “the worst year of my life” after his youngest son committed suicide.
This is exactly how our Savior wants us to be, thankful in all things because He will make His strength show through your weakness regardless of the circumstances you may be experiencing. So, how is your life going? Have you had some hard things to deal with this year? Did you experience some pain and suffering at some point? Were you thankful for it?
Most people are not thankful for it at all…mainly because it is usually so unpleasant that you can’t be thankful for it. I have wondered in my life, “Why would God want me to be thankful for suffering or pain in my life?” He does not ask us to be thankful for the suffering, as in the quote above, but IN the suffering. While you are in it, you are to be prayerful, staying near to Him so that He can strengthen you and help you through your troubles and your pain.
God loves all of us, but He doesn’t like the pain and suffering that we have to endure in this life. He is not the author of it, Satan is. Mainly because he wants to cause as many problems in our life as possible so that we will blame God for them. Many people do blame God or rather a god for their trouble or their problems. Why do they do this? Because He is thought of as a god who punishes and causes pain and suffering, yet these are descriptions of the kind of being that Satan is and has always been. God is not like this at all.
We, all of us, are special to God because He formed man out of the earth, in His image and placed the breath of Life in him. No other creature in all of Creation has that honor, not even the angels in Heaven. This sets us apart as the part of Creation that God wants to have fellowship with, now and forever. This life on Earth is just preparation for the extended part of your existence, into eternity. You are free to believe what you wish about God and eternity, but when your life here is over and eternity begins…where will you be?
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believed in Him would not perish, but would have eternal life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18