Thanksgiving is a practice that we cannot afford to discard when the going gets tough. With gratitude comes a whole host of benefitsgreater awareness of His presence, increased trust, joy, decreased anxietythat energize us when we feel beaten down. Combatting adversity is draining. Refuel with thanksgiving.
Like any good father, God wants to see His children grow. And His primary way of growing our faith is through adversity, there simply is no more effective way of deepening our relationship with Him. But we must choose to view adversity as an opportunity, rather than as an obstacle. When we do that, we grow in our Christlikeness. Adversity is a given. Growth is optional.
Adversity is a universal human experience, and not one that we particularly enjoy. When uncertainty, pain, and trials come our way, we usually react with blame, denial, or self-pity. Those responses, while normal, aren't especially helpful. Since we are guaranteed adversity in this life, we need to know the best way to respond. Yes, adversity can be prolonged and painful. But, when we seek the Lord in the midst of it, He uses it for our ultimate good.
When we think of praise, times of joy, happiness, and good fortune probably come to mind. What about when those seasons of difficulty, hardship, and persecution come, though? Is praise still appropriate then? According to Dr. Stanley, you and I will never understand the real power of praise until we go through tough times.
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