give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:8
In All circumstances?
How can we be thankful for the not so good circumstances?
I have come to understand the answer to this question quite vividly as I was counseled by God during the writing of Fiery Darts.
For too many years, my walk with God was characterized by more defeat than victory. Then, just a few years ago, I began to experience a gradual, yet powerful, transformation in my faith walk. As God continued to shed light on the darkness, which had plagued my walk with Him, I began to identify the source of my defeat. It became glaringly clear that negative thinking was at the core of my problematic walk with God. p. 14 FD 3rd edition
I learned to identify the great civil war (p.44 FD) that was going on within me. Eventually, I became more skilled in distinguishing between the thoughts originating from my flesh, my natural bent, and those which were being whispered to me by God.
Finally, the attacks from my enemy, which were designed for my defeat, began to fall short of their mark. With every trial, I gained more strength, as long as I saw it from God’s perspective and rejected the fiery darts!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3 NIV
The reason I can be thankful for the trials?
Some trials I continue to wrestle with! But now instead of despair, I know joy. Instead of defeat, I know victory! It’s God’s battle plan for our trials.
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3, NIV