The Aftermath

Maybe you have a day, a week or a month with nothing happening, no trials, no tribulations or stresses. When those times come along, we need to thank Him then, not for getting us through the trouble, but for this time of peace and rest.

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If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you will have read where I write to not only give God thanks for blessings, but also during trials.  One of the reasons I say to give thanks during trials is because those trials are being used to build us and draw us closer to Him.  And one of the things we shouldn’t forget is to thank God in the aftermath of trials for getting us through them.

Psalm 107:1-2

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
I will be the first one to says it, trials, tribulations, normal life stuff that stresses us out, stink.  They are not fun, take us out of our comfort zone and generally make us have a bad time period.  It doesn’t help any that during those trials we sometimes end up feeling like God isn’t listening or hearing our prayers, so we don’t feel close to Him.  Note the word I used there…we don’t feel close to Him.
Keep in mind, trials are just difficulties thrown at us by the enemy to get us off our game.  He wants us to start to despair, to stop relying on and praying to God.  And inevitably, God gets us through it.  But the focus today is the aftermath.  That period of peace that follows after a trial is amazing.  Maybe you have a day, a week or a month with nothing happening, no trials, no tribulations or stresses.  When those times come along, we need to thank Him then, not for getting us through the trouble, but for this time of peace and rest.
Alright readers, I’ve got a secret…you ready?  I don’t like trials.  Sometimes there are times where so many stressful things occur in such a short time period, I wonder if they will ever stop coming.  But God promises He will get us through them.  He’s gotten me through them.  He’ll get you through them and we all need to trust in Him.  But now I challenge you, since He didn’t forget you, don’t forget Him during the aftermath.  Don’t forget to thank Him and praise Him for sticking with you during that rough patch.

Thank Him all the Time

Hardships, rough times and difficulties are not something we can avoid. But we need to give thanks in those hardships.

“Thank you Lord for the many blessings You’ve given to me.  Thank you for the [insert generic term for what you’ve been blessed with].”  Does this sound like a familiar prayer?  Have you ever prayed and thanked God for what He’s done for you or provided to you?  If your answer is yes, then you are in good company, because many of us do.  I would go so far as to say, we all do.  But here comes a paradox, you ever thank Him when things get rough?  Probably not.  But you should realize, that’s when you are the most blessed by Him.

Today’s reading took me right back to Psalms.

Psalm 138:8

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
The beginning of this particular Psalm opens with praise and thankfulness to God for what He had done in David’s life.  Yes, King David, adulterer, murderer, man of war, but most importantly, man of God, is the author of many of the Psalms, which is why they are so varied in their subject matter.  David received a great many blessings from God and was always thankful for them, but what many people fail to remember, is how much hardship he went through as well.
Hardships and difficulties do not have to be a bad thing.  It’s all in how you look at them.  What do I mean?  If you take a worldly perspective and look at hardship from the angle where you are crying out to God, “Why is this happening to me?  Why is [insert name of an unbeliever you are acquainted with here] getting all the breaks?  Why, why, why?”  Waah, waah, waah.
Now I don’t conclude that last paragraph in that manner to be mean, please understand me on that.  But there was a servant of God, right around the time of the middle of the book of Genesis by the name of Job.  Good man, righteous man, even prayed for his children, just in case they screwed up and sinned against God.  And you know what, the enemy, with God’s permission, tested that resolve.  The enemy tested in every way possible, brought every hardship you can think of and even tried to use his own wife and friends against Job to get him to curse God’s name.  And you know what, Job stood his ground, kept his faith and remained true.
So what’s my point?  Let’s bring this altogether shall we.  Hardships, rough times and difficulties are not something we can avoid.  But we need to give thanks in those hardships.  Those hardships are bringing you closer to Him.  Through prayer and study, especially in hard times, your relationship with God is deepening in a way that wasn’t there before.  So you see, while being thankful during times of being blessed is good.  It shows appreciation and recognition of where God is in your life, thanking Him during the hardships should be just as good.  It shows a recognition of how much deeper your relationship with Him is getting.