In everything, give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Really? In Ev-er-y-thing? In everything, we should give thanks? You know you have asked that question. Especially at this time of year, as we are about the celebrate Thanksgiving, we see this verse…and we probably think to ourselves…well, not EVERYthing.
I mean, how can I be thankful for natural disaster? For death? For illness? For depression? For loss of a job or home? For my overbearing boss? For my annoying sister? For my spouse’s annoying habits? For MOSQUITOS?!
The Bible clearly says, IN EVERYTHING. Sigh.
Check out a portion of an article* from Bible.org about this verse and those surrounding it….
This command means that in every situation we are to give thanks to our sovereign and good God and Savior. In Ephesians 5:20, Paul puts it, “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” Giving thanks in every situation does not mean that we must be happy with every situation or resigned to accept matters without praying and working for change.
Also, we don’t need to feel thankful before we give thanks. When God takes us through hard trials, we don’t feel thankful. But by faith we can say, “Lord, I trust that You are good and that You know what You’re doing in this difficult situation. I submit to Your sovereign hand and purpose, knowing that You will work it together for my good.” So, like rejoicing always, giving thanks in everything is often a choice to believe God in difficult circumstances.
When we are connected to God and trusting Him and His plan for our lives, we are able to have gratitude in all circumstances. (Read more about my “attitude of gratitude!”)
So many times this past year, I have looked at a difficult circumstance and saw a situation devoid of anything worthy of being thankful for. My humanness, my flesh, my sinful nature could not see past the weight of the circumstance.
Then the Holy Spirit intervened. Gratitude began to replace fear…or hurt…or dismay.
God is above all circumstance in life. God knows. He sees what we are facing. And He knows the outcome. These truths alone are things we can easily be grateful for!!
We have a God who loves us, knows what we face, will protect us, and ultimately has ALREADY saved us from the worst.
When we believe in the saving grace of Jesus and His defeat over the grave, we can be grateful IN EVERYTHING!
Not FOR everything. (We don’t really need to be grateful for the mosquitos, ok?) But, as believers, we can be grateful IN this life, even in the darkest moments of this life.
Our challenge is to truly have a heart of gratitude in those difficult moments. It’s easy to be thankful when things are going well. It’s so challenging to be thankful when they aren’t.
Guess what? When we are able to grow our gratitude, we change the way we view those moments. A heart filled with gratitude doesn’t have room for fear, anger, and resentment. Rather, it opens us up for things like joy, peace, patience, forgiveness and mercy.
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”
In this life, I don’t think God expects us to be grateful FOR everything…..but He does ask that we be grateful IN everything. And because of His love for us, we are able to do just that.
In everything, give thanks!
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.
*Read more on this subject through the link below.