Give Thanks — Always
“Give thanks in all circumstances.” —1 Thessalonians 5:18
We’ve come to the third of the three commands in 1 Thessalonians 5, each easy to memorize—very few words and straight to the point—yet so difficult to put into practice. This is an admonition to give thanks in every set of circumstances, every setting and situation.
Giving thanks must be something entirely different than feeling happy. No one can feel happy in every situation. Sometimes life overwhelms.
This command, like “rejoice always” a couple verses earlier, is about far more than pasting a smile on your face.
What does it mean to give thanks in all circumstances? The preposition “in” gives a clue. The command is to give thanks in all circumstances, not for all circumstances. We’re not told to give thanks for difficult or hurtful circumstances, but rather in them.
Giving thanks in the midst of whatever circumstances demonstrates faith. It’s trust. It’s declaring that God is bigger.
Giving thanks in all circumstances deepens your understanding of God’s sovereignty. It puts all things in His capable hands, and—once again, as we discovered relative to rejoicing always and praying continually—fosters expectation. God is in this. God’s got this.
What circumstances do you find yourself in today? What’s on the horizon this week? Good, not-so-good, downright ugly—in any case, may it point you to hope.
“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” —C.S. Lewis
My prayer for this week:
Gracious Lord, When I find myself facing things I cannot be thankful FOR, please help me to be thankful IN them. I realize thankfulness and trust go hand in hand. I believe. Please help me with my unbelief. In every circumstance, setting, and situation, help me look to you in thanksgiving.