Choosing Gratitude In ALL Things (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 329)
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
If we would be honest, sometimes it is extremely hard to obey the “all” in that verse. Scripture tells us to “be thankful in all circumstances”. Most of us can express gratitude for many things. Those are mostly the things that are going well in our lives and the family members who are not sick and the long-awaited job promotion and the love you’re about to marry, and the sense of security that comes when everything is going according to plan. It is so easy to give thanks then.
But what happens in those other “all” circumstances? Giving thanks when the traffic is so backed up and keeps you from getting to work on time, when your little kid has been sick for weeks and there is no relief in sight, when you’re about to be cut from the job you’ve worked at for 20 years, when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel to your financial difficulties and struggles, when you’re overwhelmed and under-appreciated for your efforts, when your prayers go unanswered, when you wake up each morning to loss, hopelessness, and defeat. Giving thanks in “all” these circumstances can be more than difficult.
These are the times and the situations in which it is hard to find the strength or even the sense to be grateful. What good does it do to give thanks when everything seems to be falling apart? But that is exactly what God is telling us to do in this verse. To be thankful in all things. To rise above what we can see and what we can feel and be reminded that God’s promises are “yes” and “amen” in every situation that we face. He doesn’t say “give thanks in some things” or “give thanks only when life is perfect” (You’ll never give thanks if you think this). He says to give thanks in all situations and that means ALL.
It is in these moments that many times God is testing us like Job. He wants to see if we will remain faithful despite the circumstances. He is building grace and character in our lives. It is hard to build character when everything is perfect; it is in the difficulty and the adversity that flesh is chipped away and character is refined like diamonds in fire in our lives. Everything you have and every situation you encounter is an opportunity and a reason to give thanks. God knows what you’re facing, He knows what you’re facing and it is his will for you to give thanks in ALL circumstances because you are his child and he is always working on your behalf.
“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”
— Harry Ironside