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
We can face them as individuals or as a group. Sometimes they loom so large we fear we will be overwhelmed by them. Then again, our perspective regarding how we approach problems can be so skewed by fiery dart thinking (negative thinking, remember) that we choose a downward path, oblivous to the upward path already laid out by God for our good.
Here’s God’s plan!
Problems are meant to work out for our benefit!
Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We are meant to rise above our problems; not sink under the weight of them!
Romans 8:37, No, in all these things (problems) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Problems are designed to supply what might be lacking in our spiritual makeup
James 1:2-3, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverence. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anthing.
There’s more but this is enough to make my point!
Typically, problems create more problems. Listen to anyone or group absorbed in a problem and what do you hear? One negative statement after another. It’s seems those involved have an opinion on what caused the problem and will rehearse their negative opinion with anyone who will listen.
I have seen the progression fiery dart thinking sets in motion. When problems occur the temptation we succumb to is to set our eyes upon the problem and think of nothing else. The darkness produced by such negativity grows with the intention to completly obliterate the Light of God’s solutions.
I know what that is like. I have been there. It’s a no win situation. Not until, that is, you turn your gaze and ear to Jesus and begin following His instructions.
It’s likely He will open your eyes to the fact that while He has good plans for you, Satan does not.
John 10:10, A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.
He might even ask us this question: Whose plan are you cooperating with?
If we are maintaining a negative perspective regarding the problems with which we are faced, the answer to this question is obvious.
However, I do not believe that we intentionally choose to cooperate more with Satan’s plan than we do God’s. I do believe that we have been deceived with fiery dart thoughts that have blinded us to God’s plan. Which is why I write this post–to reveal Satan’s plan.
Start speaking Truth to the problem–using the verses like the ones I have offered in this post. When a thought forms in your mind regarding the problem, ask yourself this question:
Is it a fiery dart thought or a Truth thought?
Only proceed if your words will speak Truth. Then set back and watch the glory of God at work in your obedience and pour out more blessings that you can imagine. Malachi 3:10 backs this up.