When reading Trusting God on my flight to England this week, something Jerry Bridges wrote caught my attention:
Because God is sovereign, wise, and good, we can trust Him…. Paul said to “give thanks in all circumstances.” [1 Thes. 5:18] We are to be thankful in bad times and good times, for adversities as well as for blessings. All circumstances, whether favorable or unfavorable to our desires are to be occasions for thanksgiving.
Trusting God, pp. 221
Bridges goes on to remind readers that our problem with not cultivating an attitude of thankfulness is not tied to forgetfulness, it’s tied to our sinful nature. And therefore, we must recognize God’s sovereignty, wisdom and love as they work themselves out through all the unexpected twists and turns of our lives. “It is,” Bridges writes, “the firm belief that God is at work in all things—all our circumstances—for our good” (p. 223).
To derive the fullest comfort and encouragement from Romans 8:28[“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”]…we must realize that God is at work in a preactive, not reactive fashion. That is, God does not just respond to an adversity in our lives to make the best of a bad situation. He knows before He initiates or permits the adversity exactly how He will use if for our good. God knew exactly what He was doing before he allowed Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery. Joseph recognized this when he said to his brothers, “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God….You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 45:8, 50:20).
Trusting God, p. 223 (emphasis mine)
Did you catch that?
God doesn’t just use our bad circumstances for good—He intends them. [Read more…] about Cultivating Thankfulness