“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Paul wrote to the believers at Thessalonica (now the city of Thessaloniki).
Paul knew a thing or two about this topic, having been through shipwreck, snake bite, imprisonment and more.
Simple. Straightforward. We’re all the time saying we want to know God’s will. Here it is:
Be thankful in all circumstances.
But, Faye, you don’t understand!
I just got a bad diagnosis. My mother just died. My house burned down. I’m on the run from my abuser. My husband had an aneurysm and might die.
I hear you. I do. I’ve been in some of those situations. But God said this is His will for us. That means if we’re going to be pleasing to Him, we have to do it.
Notice He didn’t say to be thankful FOR every circumstance. He knows we simply can’t do that.
No, He said IN every circumstance. Do we imagine that Paul wrote these words from the luxurious comfort of a palace? Not at all! He was on the road, no real home, living among strangers, facing ridicule, beatings, and stonings. He was chased out of towns under certainty of death. He knew fear and pain, yet his letters always express gratitude.
No matter the day or hour, we can be thankful to God for the breath we’re taking – even if it’s fearful. We can thank God that we escaped with clothes on our backs – even if we’re barefoot. We can thank God that despite the beating we just received, we’re alive. We can thank God for our mother’s life and the family she has loved. We can thank God that hubby is in the hands of incredibly skillful doctors and nurses.
Regardless what we feel or think, we can always thank God for His love, grace, and salvation. We can thank Him for people in our lives.We can always express gratitude.
This sets us apart from those who don’t know Christ.
This displays the peace within us that comes from the relationship we have with God through Jesus. This isn’t “normal.”
Let’s try it today. When the traffic is slow, express thanks to God for something or someone. When the boss asks for something impossible, be thankful for something – maybe even the job. When the ketchup drips on your shirt, find something to be thankful for. When the kids are on your last nerve, thank God for the refrigerator and the washer and dryer.
When we turn our fearful/angry/grieving focus onto God instead of the circumstance, we experience a miraculous change. When we see Jesus, our circumstances look small, yet we know that He cares how big they are to us.
No matter what’s happening, be thankful in that circumstance.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.