Friday, November 7, 2014

Thanking God when in a hard time? Really?

It’s easy to thank God when things are going great in our lives, but thanking Him when in a hard time, in a crucible experience—really? The psalmist declares that we should:

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

Two reason are given that should cause us to give thanks to the LORD.

First, God is good. God’s goodness is not based on our experiences—if the “good” outweigh the “bad” then God is good. God’s goodness is not based on the results of a poll taken asking whether God is good or not—of course the poll results will be based on other people’s experiences. No, God’s goodness is based on the simple declaration: He is good! Do you believe this no matter what?

Second, His steadfast love for us endures forever. The Hebrew word for “steadfast love” is hesed and the various translations reveal the breadth of the word:

hesed: steadfast love (ESV), love (NIV), lovingkindness (NASB), mercy (KJV)

Hesed is a Hebrew word that is rich in meaning. It is:
  • an interaction between strength, steadfastness, mercy, and love.
  • implies personal involvement and commitment in a relationship
  • a love that is based on a prior relationship—it is an intimate love.
What a love–it is not a love that is here today and gone tomorrow. It is a steadfast, strong, personal, intimate, everlasting love! Do you believe this no matter what?

Therefore we can give thanks because the LORD has this kind of love toward us and because He is good. Although our hard times might cause us to question these truths, they DO NOT change these truths. As we embrace these incredible truths, even when in a crucible experience, we too can proclaim: “O give thanks to the Lord!”

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