Last night, we talked about giving thanks. There are so many things in our life that are easy to be thankful for. Our families, friends, health, baseball, Texas still being ranked #4 with a shot at the title game and on and on. The focus of our lesson turned to Paul and his desire to be thankful to God in any situation he was in. In prison, he gave thanks. Shipwrecked, he gave thanks. People threw stones at him and he gave thanks. For what? What in the world could he be thankful for enduring some of the most brutal moments of life?

An answer can be found in James where we are told to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds because the testing of our faith builds perseverance. I have to really such myself to see if I have the desire to give thanks during times of trials, if I will consider it pure joy to endure tests. It’s not my nature but being thankful to God in times of struggle, times of pain, is what builds a deeper relationship with God, a relationship of overwhelming trust and peace when all I can do is rely on Him.