By: Allie Joy Hudson
4 min read
Thankful in Lust??
When you think about fighting through lust, your natural response probably isn’t to be thankful. Fighting for purity is a hard path, often full of setbacks, frustration, numbness, and discouragement. But there’s an interesting passage in 1 Thessalonians 5 that made me think twice about lust and thankfulness:
“Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus (v. 16-18, emphasis mine).”
Keeping a grateful attitude in all circumstances shapes the way that we view them. As we take some time to reflect this Thanksgiving, what if we were grateful for even some of the more difficult parts of our lives, parts that we often try to hide?
Here are three things to be thankful for in the midst of your battle against lust.
He Still Cares
In the midst of struggle, addiction, failure, and lust, we can be grateful for who God is.
He is unceasingly faithful to us even when we are not. God never leaves.
He is holy and cannot be in the presence of sin, but through Jesus, God made a way to be back in relationship with His fallen creation, us!
God wants what is best for us, and that is for us to be free, as we’re made more and more like Jesus. This process of God removing the sin, lust, and shame in us hurts. It’s not easy! But He does this because He truly does care. He really does weave the things in our lives together for our good.
He is kind, gentle, and patient with us, even when we fall short. God is always calling us back to Himself, and He is never far.
A God Who Heals
In the midst of struggle, addiction, and lust, we can be grateful for the ways God brings about healing in us.
Sometimes, in order to remove harmful things from us, God has to bring us to our knees before Him. We need to see just how destructive the selfishness, pride, and exploitation of others in our lives can really be. This allows us to see the darkness that we dwell in, and it shows us our real need for Jesus.
But ultimately, God’s kindness is what prompts us to get right with Him and repent (Romans 2:4). Repentance puts us back on the right track towards God and what He wants for us.
In trials, grief, and the unknown, God simultaneously reminds us how much we need Him and comforts our hearts with His presence.
He heals us:
Jesus helps us to replace our self-indulgent thoughts with thoughts that honor Him.
He rewires the neural pathways in our brains so that we find satisfaction in truly good things rather than their counterfeits.
Jesus removes shame and guilt and replaces them with freedom and joy.
His healing is deep and lasting and good.
Related: Is Porn Addictive?
Look How Far You’ve Come!
In the midst of struggle, addiction, and lust, we can be grateful for how far God has already brought us. When I’m running and I make it to the top of a steep hill, I like to look back and see what I’ve just accomplished by reaching the top.
What if you took on this perspective in your own life? What are some steps, even little ones, that God has equipped you to accomplish on your road to recovery? Maybe you’ve taken steps to install an accountability software on your phone and computer. Maybe you’ve been free from pornography for a month. Perhaps you and your wife have started to reconnect.
Don’t minimize these things! Rejoice over the work that God has done and is continuing to do. When you’re feeling discouraged and bogged down in sin, look back on these achievements. God is faithful. He will continue to work in you, bringing you daily closer to freedom if you’ll allow Him.
Shaped by Thanksgiving
Gratitude shapes the ways we think, feel, and behave. And because of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, we always have something to be grateful for. In the midst of our fallenness, His character can be trusted. In the midst of our struggle, His work in our lives is good.
Look to Him in thanksgiving, even in the midst of your sin, and practice praise today.
Invest Financially This Thanksgiving and Your Money Will be Matched by a Donor (through December 2019)!
Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She has been with Proven Men for over a year and serves in the position of Content Manager. Allie graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. She completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, singing, theatre, and photography. Allie is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie lives in Pennsylvania and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.