A Prayer of Praise When Things Aren't Going Well - Your Daily Prayer - June 20

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A Prayer to Stop and Praise God When Things Aren’t Going Well 
By Ashley Moore

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV 

The bad days and hard seasons trick us into thinking that we are living a bad life, don't they? We can so quickly spiral from a difficult circumstance into thought patterns like the following: 

  • If God loves me so much, why is He allowing this to happen?
  • Why does everyone else seem to be living such a happy and easy life, and why is mine so hard?
  • Or what is wrong with me? Why can't I get my act together?

Troubles cause us to get tunnel vision. Our view gets smaller as we hyperfocus on all the complex parts of our situations. We lose perspective about how the Lord might desire to use this difficulty for our growth and sanctification. Even if we do realize these things, our hearts are often not in a place to accept them yet. 

Can I make an honest confession? Sometimes, I just want to wallow in my messy circumstances. Many times, I resist what the Lord may be trying to teach me because I just want to be mad, crabby, or whiny about it for a while. Or maybe I feel sad, and I want to stay there because it's easier than thinking about things from God's perspective. 

Please don't hear me say this next part and think I am suggesting you overcome your feelings immediately. That is not what I am saying at all. Created in God's image, we have emotions because He has emotions. However, we often allow our emotions to cause us to lose sight of our Savior rather than prompting us to draw near Him.

God tells us to come to Him when we are weary and heavy-laden (Matthew 11:28). And there are no disclaimers in this passage about getting our acts together first. Neither does He say to have everything sorted out before we come. Or that we must dry our tears before we come. Or make sure we are perfectly in alignment with what His Word says before we come and ensure we are in complete agreement. No, He says come. And as we come, He takes the heaviness of our load and exchanges it with rest, peace, and guidance because He is gentle and lowly (Matthew 11:29).

It's not that the bad days or hard seasons never come. We have all lived long enough to know that trials and tribulations are inevitable. Rather, God is showing us how we might respond to adversity. In our key verse, God's Word says to give thanks in all circumstances. Notice that the verse doesn't say to give thanks for the circumstance. God isn't asking us to thank Him for the horrible things we are walking through. No, He is saying while we are in the storm, do these two things. Come to Him and give thanks. Typically, the only things we can give thanks for in those challenging seasons are the unchanging character of God. But something beautiful happens in us when we do this! 

As we focus on God and give thanks, He fills us with His perfect peace despite our circumstances not going well (Isaiah 26:3). God uses gratitude to exchange our troubled tunnel vision for thoughts about His presence, perspective, and peace. We don't have a bad life because things are hard. We must go to God with our burdens and trade our big emotions for His rest and peace. The pathway to gaining God's perspective on our problems is gratitude. May we learn to give thanks and praise God even when things aren't going well. 

Let's pray:

Dear Lord,
Thank you that you are a safe refuge in the storms of this life. Lord, I pray you will show us how to bring our big emotions to you. Help us understand how you think about us and welcome us even when we fall apart at the seams and believe lies about ourselves, others, and you. Jesus, correct the ways we think and share your perspective with us. Help us to give thanks in every ever-changing circumstance for your unchanging, steadfast love.
In Jesus' name, amen.

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Ashley MooreAshley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge MagazineGuidepostsCrosswalkThe Secret PlaceenLIVEnThe Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn't writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.

Related Resource: Remember God's Enduring Love for You in this Guided Meditation on Psalm 100!

This guided Christian meditation from Psalm 100 will help you experience and praise God for his unending love for you. Become aware of God’s presence with you, and praise God for his loyal and enduring love from the beginning of time and into the future. Listen to every episode of the So Much More Podcast on LifeAudio.com, or subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode!

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