“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Raining … Thankfulness
by Randall D. Kittle
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This week in Northern Illinois has been consistent … but dreary. Most days have been the same: dark, damp, and drizzly. Sometimes I feel like returning to my childhood and singing, “Rain, rain — go away, come again another day.” I know we need the moisture, and it’s probably good for the yards, trees, and farms, but when combined with the ever-shortening daylight I find myself feeling like Eeyore — passive, caustic, and not hopeful things will get better.


Biblically, they call this Eeyore-type of attitude having a soul that is downcast or distressed, and it is by no means rare in the Bible. The Scriptures show that Moses, David, Solomon, Elijah, Job, Jeremiah, and John the Baptist, among others, fell under dark clouds of discouragement.

Perhaps no one in the Bible suffered more from this attitude than David. In five different passages, we see David overwhelmed and discouraged (see Psalm 42:5, 42:6, 42:11, 43:5, and 1 Samuel 30:6). In most of these Scriptures, we find him asking,
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?” But in 1 Samuel 30:6, we see David discouraged and desperate, “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him …” He and his men’s homes were burned and their families were taken away captive. David faced personal loss, defection and mutiny of his men, and risked losing his life. We can understand why he was “greatly distressed.” David’s answer to this dark discouragement was “David strengthened himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6).

A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving
When the circumstances of life try to make you and me feel downcast, we need to follow David’s lead and strengthen ourselves in the Lord. But how? I believe the best way to get our eyes off our circumstances is to focus them on the Lord by giving Him a sacrifice of thanksgiving. “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving … he who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors God” (Psalm 50:14 & 23).

Under the circumstances, this may sound difficult. However, it’s easy to have a thankful heart if we will only step back and look at the mercy and kindness God has so richly lavished on us. When I think of His goodness I can’t help but express my thanks for the wife God has given me … a wife who’s been the greatest helpmate a man could have. God has used my wife instrumentally in my walk with Him — helping bring me to salvation, disciple me, ministering alongside me, and encouraging and releasing me into all God has for me. I’m also thankful for God’s gift of my children who make life exciting, fun, and full. They each are a special gift from God I greatly treasure.

I am so grateful to be part of a church with a storied past, a vibrant present, and a hope-filled future. How nice to be on this journey of faith with others who hunger for more of God and have a heart to serve Him in our community.

Whenever I start to declare to God my thankfulness for all that He has done for me, it is as if the dark clouds of heaviness lift as the goodness and faithfulness of God is proclaimed.

So, let me encourage you. Any time the circumstances of life begin to look bleak and discouraging, willingly choose to make a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Let thankfulness pour out from your heart toward God like the steady Fall rain here in Northern Illinois. As you recall God’s blessings and thank Him for what He has done in your life, you’ll find the dark clouds of discouragement breaking up as the joy of your salvation overcomes the temporary troubles of your current situation. As is says in Hebrews 13:15,
“Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.”


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