Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Let us look a little deeper and ask ourselves why Job underwent so many trials when he practiced virtue so diligently and was above reproach. He was certainly humble, for he testifies of himself, “I did not consider it demeaning to answer my male or female slave when they complained against me [Job 31:13].” He also maintains that he showed hospitality, saying, “The pilgrim did not remain outside, but the entrance to my house lay open for the traveler [Job 31:32].” He was an upholder of discipline, as he indicates, saying, “Princes stopped in midspeech and put their hands on their mouths [Job 29:9].” He tempered strictness with kindness, saying, “I sat like a king with his army standing around, yet I was the comforter of the afflicted [Job 29:25].” He showed generosity in almsgiving, as he intimates in saying, “I did not eat my bread alone, but shared it with the orphan [Job 31:17].”
Therefore, although he fulfilled injunctions to observe all the virtues, he needed one thing more: to give thanks to God even in the midst of trials. He was well known as a man who could serve God in the midst of his gifts, but it was fitting that a stern regime should discover whether his devotion to God would endure in the midst of trials. Pain, indeed, is the test of the true love of any peaceful person. The enemy asked for Job so that he might trip him up; his petition was granted, but only so that he might make further progress. The Lord in His kindness allowed to happen what the devil in his wickedness asked for. The enemy had claimed Job in order to consume him, but in tempting him Job only obtained the increase of his merits. For it is written, “in all this Job did not sin with his lips [Job 1:22].”
Gregory the Great (c. 540-604) in the Moral Reflections on the Book of Job, translated by Brian Kerns (Athens: Cistercian Publications, 2014) 62-63.
I have officially returned to my word for the year, kindness, and will continue to explore its relationship to generosity in writings through church history.
Someone asked me this question recently: “What’s the hardest part about starting a new organization?” I replied, “Every day has a new and unexpected set of challenges, which can feel overwhelming.”
Challenges transform us as people. God cares what is happening in our hearts, especially when it comes to our giving. He wants our generosity to include giving thanks to Him in all circumstances. What does this look like in your life?
I am learning to set each day’s challenges at His feet, to ask for aid, and trust in Him with thankfulness rather than allow it to overwhelm me. Praying a Psalm at each divine hour has help me immensely in this regard.
If you have a lot going on, life seems crazy, or you are in a busy season. I would urge you to increase your time in prayer, Scripture reading, and giving thanks to God. See what happens in you as a result.
For about 20 hours I am blessed to host Shawn Manley visiting from Puyallup, WA. He’s a faithful reader of these Daily Meditations, and the new part-time CFO/COO of Global Trust Partners.
We are going to spend lots of time praying as God is stretching us. All this is part of His kindness to us. Pray with us for spiritual discernment and fruitful discussions regarding various important matters. Thanks.Read more