What being thankful DOESN'T mean

One of the frustrating things about going through struggles is when you hear other Christians say things like:

"The only reason you are struggling is because you don't have enough faith."

"Your problems are because of your sin."

"If you would only pray harder, God would answer your prayer."

These are not only unhelpful, but they are often also unbiblical.  Comments like these don't allow the one struggling the freedom to share their feelings and find a solution because they feel condemned or accused. Paul suffered from many health issues and was never healed during his lifetime here on earth.  Did Paul have enough faith in God? If God didn't heal Paul, it might be that God chooses not to heal a fellow believer.  Suggesting that if they only had enough faith, they'd be cured of cancer or have no more financial problems simply isn't biblical. Telling someone who is struggling with something that they simply need to have more faith only increases their suffering.  Assuming they buy this bill of goods, they will try valiantly to have more faith in God.  What happens if God answers their prayer with "no" or "wait?"  How much more frustrated will they feel then?  Assuming they don't believe they could possibly have more faith, they may simply give up trying or trusting God. Although some problems we encounter are due to our own sinful nature, other problems come about due to no fault of our own.  Yet I've heard people tell a grieving mother that her child has Leukemia because of her sin!  How's that for piling guilt on top of grief? Being thankful and joyful in the Lord such that we praise God in the storm doesn't mean that we dismiss our suffering or that we cannot feel sad or angry or lost or overwhelmed.  It doesn't mean that we are complaining if we express our feelings and it doesn't mean that we should live our lives trying to overcome our struggles by telling ourselves we aren't suffering or shouldn't feel badly or don't have the right to complain.  It doesn't mean we spend our time pretending it didn't happen or doesn't matter. Being thankful and praising God in the storm doesn't usually come naturally.  Our natural reaction is to be anxious and afraid, to worry and to get frustrated.  It takes practice to learn to praise God in the storm.  It takes time and patience. Job's friends didn't understand either, most likely because they had never experienced such dispair. Sometimes what our friends and relatives communicate to us makes our struggles that much more difficult. While we know we should trust God, we also know how difficult that can be.  Don't make that harder on those suffering by telling them that all they need is more faith or to stop sinning.  Don't make it harder on yourself by telling yourself.  On Wednesday, I'm going to share some things we need to remember before we can learn to praise God in the storm and be thankful and see our blessings.  In addition, next week I'll share some tips that have helped me learn how to be joyful in the midst of sorrow or struggle. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ If you liked this post, read…Seven Reasons Why YOU Should Sign Up for the Art of Eloquence Newsletter!


  • Janet Harllee

    Agree! God uses our trials to help others – we can relate to them.

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