Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, some of them were experiencing terrible persecution. This may have been one of the reasons he included this verse at the end of his letter. Life wasn’t easy, and Paul wanted to remind them of having an attitude of gratitude.
If we’re honest with ourselves, having an attitude of gratitude is easier said than done. We may not be facing persecution, but we all have those days where gratitude is the last thing on our minds. We end up with just an attitude (and it ain’t pretty). Some of us may need encouragement, so let’s take a look at the first part of our verse: “Give thanks in all circumstances”. Loosely translated, it means to be grateful for everything in any situation. It’s easy to do when the sun is shining and the birds are singing – when things are good, am I right? How about when they’re not? When the computer crashes, the tire goes flat for the umpteenth time, I bet that we aren’t happy or thankful. However, even in unpleasant circumstances, that is what we are supposed to do. The question we may be asking is, why should we be thankful for these types of circumstances? The next part of the verse answers the question: “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
God’s will is his wishes or desires. God wants us to let him do what he desires for us. I know that this isn’t always easy to do. We might be wary of letting go to let God do what he wants to. Here is a verse that may help, Romans 8:28 (NIV): “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Ironically, the word for “things” is the same word in Greek that Paul uses for “circumstances”.
So…if the things or circumstances are his will to begin with and knowing that he works for the good in all circumstances, is there any reason not to be thankful? Even though it may be hard God always has our backs, and he is working on our behalf. Knowing this should encourage us to have an attitude of gratitude.
Shining the Light Brighter – Here is where you can dig deeper to help you learn more and apply God’s word to your life.
- Memorizing God’s word is a great way to help you remember that He is good. Start with Romans 8:28.
- Start a gratitude journal and include a list of what you are thankful for, or times that God worked a circumstance out. Refer to it when you need some encouragement.
- Share what you have learned, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog.