The Bible teaches us in I Thessalonians 5:18, “In EVERY thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
It’s easy to get excited and to say “thank you” for the good things in life; a new job, a new house, a pay raise, a healthy new baby, a perfect vacation, a sun-filled – fun-filled day, a new friend, a good report from the doctor, a gift from a loved one or friend, even a good grade back on a test. These happy things make our hearts to fly high and the giving of thanks simply flows easier from our hearts and lips.
But, what about the darker times in life when our hearts are saddened and discouraged? It’s much, much harder to give thanks to God, if not nearly impossible, at the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a pay decrease rather than an increase, when the unexpected happens, a stormy rain-filled vacation, a bad report from the doctor, or a bad grade on a test. Yet, God did not have the Apostle Paul to write to the Christians at Thessalonica to only give thanks in the good things. The Holy Spirit instructed Paul to write, “In EVERY thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Did you notice the words, “the will of God?” One meaning of the Greek word for our English word, “will” is “Thelema” which also means to “take pleasure.” Simply put, when you and I get our “will” in something, it usually brings about a certain amount of pleasure. Therefore, God’s sovereign Will brings to him “pleasure.” Don’t get me wrong. God doesn’t take pleasure in the bad things that happen in our lives, but it gives Him pleasure when we exercise and demonstrate our faith in Him by the giving of thanks in Everything. The giving of thanks in Everything demonstrates that our faith and trust are resting solidly in His favor.
Let’s look closer. The verse is saying that the “giving of thanks in everything” is the will of God. Have you ever wondered why God would want us to give thanks in the bad times as well as the good times? I believe that by our giving thanks in all things it demonstrates our faith in a Holy, Righteous, All-Knowing, Omnipotent God. The Bible teaches that it is “impossible” to please God without faith. The book of Hebrews teaches us that, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for,the evidence of things not yet seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV). By our giving of thanks in all things it releases our faith in God allowing Him the pleasure of knowing that no matter the circumstance, we believe that God still loves us and can and will work it out according to his plan and purpose for our lives. (Romans 8:28).
Many years back, I was faced with a situation that I thought could and never would happen to our family. It resulted in a violent storm of emotions. It was shocking, upsetting, disturbing, and life-changing, to say the least, for all involved. At the time, I was devastated with fear and grief for the situation and the future. After a very long day of processing the event, it was time for bed. As I placed my head onto the pillow, I once again sobbed endlessly. Yet, my Spirit seemed to speak louder than the sobs I was crying. It told me to remember to “give thanks” in EVERYTHING. I, immediately, began to pray, “God, this is so hard to do, but I will be obedient to you in this matter, and I will give you thanks, Honor, and Praise, for this situation. I will trust you and thank you in this.” As I continued to cry and cry, I prayed harder and harder thanking God for the situation we were now facing. It was way late into the night and early morning hours before I fell asleep with the continued words of thanksgiving flowing from my heart and lips. I have never forgotten that day or night.
Today, I praise God for the circumstances and the end results of that situation. Today, I know that even though it was a period of uncertainty and fearfulness in our family’s hearts and lives, it was also a time of trust and triumph in God.
I truly believe that when we give thanks unto God for EVERYTHING that it releases a force of faith that surrounds our lives that can and will bring about Joy in the Morning.
Today, you may be facing one of the darkest, hardest situations in your life. You may think that I have gone mad to suggest to you to give thanks for the cancer that might be eating away at your body or the body of a loved one, the diabetes that might be taking away a foot or limb from your body, you might think I have gone insane to suggest that you give thanks for the loss of a loved one, or the forth-coming loss of your home or career; whatever it is that you are facing, by faith, you can choose to give thanks unto God.
I can assure you (only through the Word of God) that God delights (takes pleasure) in those who come to him in Faith by the giving of thanks in EVERYTHING. You will discover that a new Spirit of Hope will take over your situation and fill your heart and mind with Peace (from the Prince of Peace) as you face the circumstances and situation; a Peace that passes all understanding.
I know; I have been there more than once in my life. It is sometimes scary to step out in faith to give thanks in a bad situation, but “the trail of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:7 KJV).
Let us pray today together, “Heavenly Father, our Creator and Maker, today we come to you by faith in the precious name of thy son, thy only Son, Christ Jesus, believing in our hearts, soul, and mind that you are in all things and above all things happening in our lives. Always believing and giving of thanks in all things; everything in our lives both the good and the bad, we thank you for. Knowing Heavenly Father that you are the God; the One, the True, and the Only Living God knowing the end from the beginning in all things. Knowing that you will lead, guide, and direct our hearts, path, and steps as we face these troublesome days ahead together. Father, I give you my pain, I give you my joy, I give you all things in everything by hope, faith, and thanksgiving of both the heart and mind that it may bring about thy will, thy honor, thy praise, and thy glory for my life. In all these things we pray in the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.”
I pray that if you are facing a difficult time in your life right that today’s message of hope may bring about a solace and joy to your heart, soul, and mind.
Remember, God Loves You.
Lin T. Rollins, Author