Give Thanks In Everything

Give Thanks In Everything

There is always something to be thankful for.
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As Thanksgiving approaches each November I have seen several people in the recent years post a thing that they are thankful for every single day for the whole month on social media.

I am sure that these people do not need a month set aside to share what they are thankful for and instead could share whenever they please. Although I do not personally use my Facebook account or my Instagram for anything other than sharing a photo here and there and keeping up with my family and friends, I am extremely encouraged by seeing so many others share one or more things a day that they are truly thankful for.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice Always! Pray constantly. Give thanks in everything, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Life may be hard right now and you may have lost absolutely all hope. And if it's not right now, there may have been moments and there will be other times where it will most likely be difficult again. But this sweet reminder in the verse above I know reminds me that through every hardship, through every challenge, through every moment I find myself weeping out of anger or sadness- that I still have so much more to be thankful for.

That friendship or relationship that you stay torn over ending- pray and be thankful that God may be protecting you from something that could be toxic. It might not have been a relationship that encouraged and built you up and it is important even though this upset to know He has you.

If there is everything but hope surrounding your life, I pray that you find at least one thing that you can be thankful for. Rejoice over that and pray constantly that Christ will see you through.

This verse does not say "give thanks in some things", but "give thanks in everything". Trust and know that Christ has a plan even when we absolutely cannot see it and when it is hard to believe.

Give thanks that we have such an incredible Heavenly Father who is full of grace and forgiveness even when we are so undeserving. When there is nothing left for us to hold on to, He remains.

In some of my darkest and hardest moments, I cannot say that I have taken this advice. But from here on out when it is hard to be joyful and thankful for anything I pray that this will be a reminder to me and that if I can find just one thing to be thankful for (which should not be hard) I will focus on the blessing of that.

I pray that you reading this will do the same. I pray that you reading this whether you have hope or have lost all hope will choose to be encouraged and allowed God to intervene.

We might not have the answers that we want. We may not agree with the "right thing to do". But I pray that you will give thanks not only when you are standing high on the mountain filled with his blessings, but also when you need to be comforted and feel more alone than ever before.

I am encouraging not only you today, but also myself to begin today by choosing to take one thing a day and declaring it whether it is out loud, on social media, to an accountability partner, a family member or friend, a spouse, or with someone else that you are comfortable with. Whatever is the best outlet for you I encourage you to start this with me. Whether it be temporary or a long-term thing, whether you speak it first thing in the morning or at the end of the day it truly doesn't matter as long as you are seeking something that you are thankful for in each and every day.

Trust in Him and give thanks in everything.

Cover Image Credit: https://movingtowardsthelight.com/tag/praise/

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Twenty One Pilots' 'Jumpsuit' Declares The Gospel Of Jesus

The pop-rock duo's single off their forthcoming album showcases the values of God's Kingdom.

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Ohio-born, Grammy award-winning, pop-rock duo Twenty One Pilots are officially back from their year-long hiatus with new music! Most notable of the band's onslaught of song releases, tour announcements, and album details is their recent music video for their new single: "Jumpsuit."

The video plays off of many of the teaser material the band released over the past few months (which you can read for yourself thanks to this compiled mega thread on Reddit), which saw t.o.p. fans going on a scavenger hunt across cyberspace to compile the backstory of the band's upcoming concept album, "Trench."

From what can be gathered, the narrative of the album will follow Clancy, an individual who is working towards escaping a massive, controlling society called DEMA. Clancy recognizes that true freedom will come from escaping the organized state, including working past the grasp of the nine "bishops" and the "watchers" that run everything.

There is honestly too much going on in the music video to unpack everything, but here I want to focus on (what I believe to be) the most important yet largely missed aspect of the music video:

"Jumpsuit" declares the Gospel of Jesus and everybody is missing it!

Let me explain. There are two primary characters in the music video that have led me to this conclusion: Clancy (portrayed by Tyler), and a red-hooded, elderly figure riding a pale horse. As we've established, Clancy is a character who has, in a sense, wake up to the trappings of living in obedience to his society's way of life and desires to escape to have true freedom.

But in Clancy's attempt to escape, he comes across the red-hooded figure riding the pale horse. I would like to refer to this character by what I believe is its true name: Death.

In the Book of Revelation (a very poetically complex and culturally nuanced piece of literature that details the resolution of the story of the Bible, where Good triumphs over Evil and God's people are once again called to cultivate hope for the restoration of the world), there is a vision of a scroll being opened, seal by seal.

The fourth seal is opened, and the narrator "look[s], and there before [them is] a pale horse! Its rider was named Death" (Revelation 6:8 NIV). This may seem trivial: this can loosely connect to the music video, as a there is an elderly rider cloaked riding a pale horse. But here is where things get interesting.

The music video opens with a clear allusion to the previous Twenty-One Pilots' music video: "Heavydirtysoul." One of the most iconic lyrics from the song is "death inspires me like a dog inspires a rabbit." Cut to the "Jumpsuit" video, and what does the rider of the pale horse do? It inspires Clancy (portrayed by Tyler) to run away, like how a dog "inspires" a rabbit.

So we have Death chasing down Clancy, who is trying to escape a conformed society to find true freedom.

But if the religious symbolism wasn't enough, there's more!

The primary scene of the music video takes place in a ravine/valley of sorts. As Tyler stares at the character of Death and its pale horse, all I can think of is one of the most famous psalms from Scripture, Psalm 23:

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me" (Psalm 23:4, NASB).

The connection couldn't be more obvious: the character Tyler is portraying is walking through a valley of the shadow of Death, with both Scriptural references coming together to create a holistic picture of Tyler taking refuge in his jumpsuit (this could be a stand-in for Faith in general).

In short: Twenty-One Pilots' recent single, "Jumpsuit," shows the world how to find true freedom: live a life that replicates the Way of Jesus. When the Evil of this world tempts you, it should inspire you to flee from it, like how a dog inspires a rabbit to do the same. We must also recognize that to truly conquer temptation and Death ultimately means putting on the "jumpsuit," and submitting to the Way of Life that Jesus Himself lived, and through that, we are freed from the structure and societal pressures of this world, to find freedom in the Life that is truly Life.

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