1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
This is probably one of the most difficult pieces of scripture to follow.
It is easily misunderstood and very often forgotten especially when we are in the middle of difficult circumstances that are sometimes prevalent in our lives.
But even though we may be going through difficult times we can still thank God for giving us the strength to cope, for bringing people into our lives who can help, for the prayers of our brothers and sisters and for all the general support that we may receive as a result of God’s grace to us.
Without God in our lives we would never be able to pass through the turbulent waters and even though we still have painful and strength sapping times to go through we can still give thanks because God has said, never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. He is always there to help us, to comfort and strengthen us and to bestow His love upon us. It is easy for us to give thanks when we are in good times. How grateful we are when things are going well for us, when happy times are with us, when blessings just seem to flow for ever and ever. But how different it can be when we are facing difficult times. But still the Bible says that we are to give thanks. Give thanks that we can trust God our Father in these trying times, give thanks that He is still there helping and comforting us, give thanks for the people that He may have placed or will bring into our lives to help us to cope, give thanks that despite the circumstances we have a God who we can trust and rely on to be there when we need Him. It may not change the circumstances, that is dependant on His will, but it will certainly help us to cope.
We have so much to be thankful for. Even a cursory look in the Bible will remind us of this fact. Start at John 3:16, Philippians 4:6-7, 2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 11:28, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 23 and so many more. What an amazing Father we have. Just list all the things we should be thankful for, some in good times, some in bad. Remember the song “Count your blessings one by one?” If we did we would very quickly become thankful in all circumstances. There is a general attitude in today’s society that people have a right to certain things and as a result they tend to be less thankful than they should be. Things come so easy to some that they forget how those things came to them in the first place and who it was who got them there. Its not just young people and its not just non Christians who display the lack of gratitude it can be in all of us at times. As we grow spiritually and whatever our circumstances are, we must portray to the world, and effect in our hearts, an “attitude of gratitude” even in difficult circumstances and give thanks to God for all that He is, for His never ending love and for all that we are as a result of His grace towards us. After all “this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus!”
Heavenly Father help us to develop an “attitude of gratitude” especially in the difficult times. We know that you are always there and as we trust in you let our mouths express our heartfelt thanks for all that you have done and continue to do for us. In Jesus name. Amen