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Does God know what is going to happen? Should we thank God for everything? How to thank God for bad things that happen

Should you be thankful for the satan, his demons and everything they do?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says:

“In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Messiah Yeshua concerning you.

Does the Bible instruct us to be thankful for everything that happens? Does it tell us that we are to be thankful for every circumstance and situation in life? Many would argue “yes”.

When people say that we should be thankful for everything I often question why they say that. The response I hear is “that’s what it says”.

However, that’s really not “what it says”. Rather, what it says is to be thankful IN everything. In other words, be thankful that God is helping to see you through whatever trials you are experiencing. However, the Bible does NOT say to be thankful FOR everything.

For those who have difficulty seeing the importance of this difference that I am pointing out, here are some other Bible verses that “say” things…

Don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing (Matt. 6:3)

Let the Dead Bury the Dead (Matthew 8:22; Luke 9:60)

You Must Hate Your Parents, Spouse, Siblings, and Children (Matthew 10:37 Luke 14:26)

You Must Be Perfect (Matthew 5:48)

Sell What You Have (Matthew 19:21; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:22)

I could go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, etc., but I am sure that you are getting the idea.

I have said for many years now that I could make the Bible say just about ANYTHING I wanted it to, complete with various verses to back it up. It is obvious that this can be done because this is exactly what people do in order to justify their own desires.

The three most important rules of Biblical hermeneutics
To me, Smith Wigglesworth had it right: He said this: “Some people like to read their Bibles in the Hebrew; some like to read it in the Greek; I like to read it in the Holy Spirit.”

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10

Yes, studying the original languages certainly helps; but without the inspiration of Holy Spirit, knowing the original languages of the Bible will not win the day.

As I have said before, to “rightly divide the Word of Truth”;

The three most important rules of Biblical interpretation are; context, context, context.

Sometimes the specific verse provides the context, sometimes you have to expand out to the chapter, occasionally you to branch out to the “book” in which the verse is located, and every once in a while you may need to reach out to the entire Bible to gain proper context.

It is my view that the best way for most people to understand the Bible is to 1) pray for revelation from Holy Spirit 2) utilize the three most important rules for Biblical interpretation: context, context, context.

Give thanks for everything?

“In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Messiah Yeshua concerning you.

1 Thes. 5:18

There is very little immediate context for this verse. However, the chapter seems to be referencing the various seasons of life and how to live in them.

For me, it is exceedingly clear that the Apostle Paul is telling us here to thank God for His various blessings of life regardless of the specific situation that we’re in. It is absolutely not telling us to be thankful that the devil is viciously attacking us. If it were saying that, it would be contrary to the context of the rest of the Bible.

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 4:27
Neither give place to the devil.

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

These are only three of many verses that instruct God’s people to resist the works of the devil.

God tests us
Sometimes when I say that we are to resist the devil’s death and destruction I quote Scriptures like those above and the response I hear is “Well God DOES test us sometimes.

This occurs with an uncanny frequency that leads me to believe that people are sort of grasping for a defense to support what they have been taught rather than being willing to see and hear what the Scriptures are saying.

Of course God “tests” us. But what does that have to do with it? Nothing. To the spiritually immature it can be difficult to discern exactly what is happening in your life. At times it can be challenging even for the mature, but the reality that God tests you from time to time is a separate issue that should be addressed very differently.

Almost invariably Job is introduced during discussions of this nature. However, I do not remember Job ever thanking God for all that he endured. In fact, he called what was happening to him “evil”

…Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Job 2:10

Follow the leaders
When Yeshua met the satan in the desert he didn’t “thank him” for lying to Him and trying to deceive Him: Rather Yeshua rebuked the devil.

When Yeshua was rebuking the pharisees He didn’t thank them for leading the people astray and being hypocritical: Rather he condemned them without hesitation or reservation. Mt.23:23-24

When the devil tried to cause Yeshua to fall into error Jesus didn’t thank him for trying to trip Him up. Rather Yeshua told Him to stop it. Mt. 16:23

Likewise when the woman with a spirit of divination was harassing Apostle Paul, he didn’t thank the woman for the harassment. Rather he cast the evil spirit out of her. Acts 16:18

To the Believers in Corinth Apostle Paul very pointedly said that we are to fight against spiritual principalities. He said that the weapons of our warfare are not of this world but are through God for the pulling down of strongholds and everything that exalts itself against God. 2 Cor. 10:4-5

In like manner He gave the Believers in Ephesus similar instructions except even more explicit. Eph.6:10-18

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Apostle Paul could not be any clearer. We wrestle AGAINST evil spirits. We don’t thank them for the torment that they cause.

Nowhere in the Bible do we see any of God’s people thanking God for the evil, despicable deeds of the devil. Rather what we DO see is God’s people standing against evil.

And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Revelation 2:26

Final note
It is critically important to note that the greatest commandment is to love.

When love requires fighting, it is the primary responsibility of God’s people to wage war in the spirit realm. Nothing in this article should be construed to believe that God’s people are to take up arms to initiate war in the physical realm.

Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith Yahweh of hosts.
Zechariah 4:6

Blessings in Yeshua
Parson Rayphe
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