In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I Thessalonians 5:18
In Arizona, we have hit the dog days of summer and the temperature has risen like bread with a good amount of yeast. We had a mild summer to start, but the heat is now on and it will be a few months before we see temps under three digits. This is my 44th Arizona summer so I should not be surprised by the heat, but each year I somehow think it will be different. People say it is only a dry heat, but turn your oven to 115 degrees and put your head in it and tell me if a dry heat is preferential. Complaints about the weather is a common theme among Arizonians, and one can understand this when the temperature regularly soars above the 110 degree mark. I do not mind it too much as I have worked in it, but I am spoiled and would rather be inside if I am going to be completely honest.
In a recent church service, our youth pastor preached about the Lord’s Prayer and brought out some facets of this well-known passage, particularly the part which states, “Thy will be done.” Jesus prayed the same when He said, “Not my will but thine be done.” We would be in a better position in life if we would pray this daily and ask for God’s help in performing His will. Any Christian seeking to do right would say they want to live in the will of the Father. We think of the will of the Father as something super spiritual but it can be as easy as giving thanks in every thing as noted in these verses. We often do not see our complaining as a big deal, but it is against God’s will and it shows an ungrateful heart. God allows everything in our life for His purpose and His honor and glory. Sometimes we experience consequences for our sinful actions, and other times He is performing a work in our lives to conform us to His image.
It is easy to complain about the heat, but when we do, we are going against the will of God because we are not being thankful in all things. There are many things that happen throughout our day that we can complain about, but there are many things that happen to us in our life that we can be and should be thankful for. God wants us to be thankful, and the moment we complain, we need to stop and confess that to Him as we know we are not in His will.
I was headed home from a trip of seeing my new grandson when my plane faced several delays, and I was boarded on a flight only to wait on the tarmac and be asked to get back off about an hour later. My plans to attend Freedom That Lasts that night were thwarted and it was much easier to complain than it was to give thanks. I had to change gates several times and my arrival time of 7:45pm turned to 12:00am. I did not initially give thanks for all of these delays as I just wanted to get home and get in my own bed. I started to journal while waiting to get off of the plane, and God started to speak to me. I began to realize that it was His will for me not to leave when I thought I should have. It was my job to give thanks even in the delays and just to trust Him in the situation. I figured it was best for me to get into a safely-operable plane than to miss my destination altogether and get to my eternal destination before my time.
May we be careful when we are tempted to complain about the weather and missed flights as God controls all things. God brings the sun to shine over us, and He controls the weather. He is in charge of the many flights that go out by the minute, and He is never surprised by delays. Will you be thankful in all things? Will you thank Him on the hottest days just as you thank Him on the days that you find most beautiful? The will of God is for us to be thankful, so before we start to complain, let’s stop and thank Him for what He has allowed in our life. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”