Wanna be happy?
Do God’s will.
And learn to be thankful in all circumstances.
Notice, not thankful for everything, but thankful in every situation.
There’s a big difference there.
God doesn’t expect us to be all smiles about a painful situation, but in the distressing circumstance, we can still find a reason to praise God. And if we do, we will be so much better off.
My dear, wise father-in-law used to say:
When some trouble comes your way—list off three things that could have made the situation a whole lot worse, and realize how much God has spared you from.
When life goes sideways, as it often does, we Believers have cause, still, to be grateful.
And there’s something remarkably uplifting, healing, and honoring to God when we are profoundly grateful instead of deeply pessimistic.
Like the old hymn goes:
When upon life’s billows
you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged
thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings;
name them one by one,
And it will surprise you
what the Lord has done.
Okay—let’s name just a few of them one by one:
Eternal life instead of eternal death. (That’s some good news right there.)
The love of God instead of His wrath. (I’m feeling better now.)
Forgiveness of sins instead of deserved punishment. (Big sigh.)
The light of God’s Word instead of groping around in darkness. (Remember those fun days?)
Peace instead of fear.
Hope instead of desperation.
Joy instead of sadness.
And a Father, who loves us, who’s working everything in our lives for good.
You may be upset.
You may be hurting.
You may be in need.
But you’ve also got a whole lot going for you, my friend.
You’ve got God. And God’s got you.
So be thankful.