Shortly after becoming a Christian I came across a book by Merlin Carothers called Prison to Praise.1 In it he tells of his rebellion against God, triggered by the death of his father when he was 12.
His service in WW2 was marred by violent crime, but, miraculously converted on a visit to his grandparents, he ended up as a chaplain to the paratrooper regiment he had previously served in.
Although filled with the Holy Spirit, he found, like most of us, that joy came and went. God began to teach him to give thanks in all circumstances, for things good and bad, based on verses such as…
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17 ESV)
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, always give thanks for everything to God the Father. (Ephesians 5:20 GNB)
The foundational verse is Romans 8:28:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)
Intrigued, I thought I would try it.
I will let you know in the next post what happened.
The result was astonishing.
1 Prison to Praise Merlin Carothers 1970 Logos International ISBN 978-0943026022. The book is still in print and really worth reading.
Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (GNB) are from the Good News Bible © 1994 published by the Bible Societies/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd UK, Good News Bible© American Bible Society 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992. Used with permission.