1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  To fail to give God thanks is a symptom of unbelief. (Romans 1:21)

The true victories enjoyed in this life by born again Christians are obtained through thankfulness to God.  As long as the child of God is prayerfully seeking God’s guidance, he can look at aggravations, temptations, afflictions and persecutions as being opportunities for being transformed into the image of Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:28-29 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  …to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…”

Jesus knew aggravation in ministry. In Gethsemane, Jesus took Peter, James, and John into the garden with him and gave them very clear instructions, “stay here and keep watch with Me.” (Matthew 26:38) “Keep watch with me,” meant “stay awake and pray!” These three disciples were with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, (Matthew 17) and they were with Jesus in the home of Jairus where they witnessed the raising of a dead girl. (Luke 8)  If anyone would be fired up, ready to walk in obedience, we would think it would be these three, yet they failed the Lord.

Jesus knew Satan’s attacks in service to His Father. Matthew 4:1 says, “…Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”  Having Satan after you open’s the door for tough times.

The Apostle Paul knew persecution and Satan’s afflictions in ministry so that he may enjoy Christ’s power in the Lord’s work. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) The whole of Scripture teaches us, if we are seeking with all our hearts and strength to walk in obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, in our afflictions we can be thankful for the opportunity to rest in “Christ’s” power. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

In reality, there are tough times. Being alone in prayer, being attacked by the devil, suffering affliction and even persecution are tough times. However, these are opportunities to find strength through the Holy Spirit and be formed into the image of Christ.  Grow Christ-like through a life of thankfulness in tough times