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Every one of us will walk through tough times - circumstances we wish we never had to face. They surround us like walls that are closing in. 

Maybe we’ve received a poor review at work or a failing grade on an exam. Perhaps we’ve been challenged by a rebellious child or by a struggle with some ailment. Likely, we’ve endured the loss of a loved one, criticism from co-workers, or the betrayal of a friend. We may face any number of troubles. 

When we do, our natural inclination is to anguish, complain, even despair. Our hearts are weighed down and our minds distracted as if these things are obstacles in the path leading to our goal. Yet, it’s in these precise circumstances that God invites us to put on a disposition of praise: “Bless the Lord at all times!”

These situations are not simply obstacles. Because of the wondrous grandeur of God and His faithfulness to work in our lives, He can turn these into mile markers along our path of growth. Walking with Christ allows us to see how we may bless the Lord “in” every situation, knowing that He can turn it into an opportunity to trust Him, walk with Him, and to see Him more clearly at work on our behalf.

We don’t bless the Lord “for” the circumstances – He’s not doing it to us – but we may bless the Lord “in” the circumstances because He can use even bad things to form our faith more deeply.