pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 NASB
Giving thanks has been on my mind a lot recently. Maybe it’s the upcoming holiday but I think it’s more about how to deal with tough stuff. Over the years the Lord has been teaching me that giving thanks, being grateful to Him, is critical to dealing with life and ultimately to being a better witness for Him. I am always amazed at how thanking God for even the least seeming things helps change my attitude and perspective.
But that statement, “… IN EVERTHING Give Thanks …”. How in the world do we give thanks in everything?
I have often found it hard to give thanks in everything yet the Scripture tells us to do that very thing! How Lord?! Like many of you, I’ve struggled with loss, rejection, health, ill will, family and friend issues, worry and anxiety, anger and bitterness, etc. But through it all, I’ve learned that I must be obedient and I must give thanks to Him regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I’m not told to give thanks FOR the situation but I have learned that He will give me what it takes to give thanks IN every situation.
Now, I don’t know how the Greek states “in every situation” and I wouldn’t be able to debate this with a theologian. I am just sharing with you … Giving Him thanks for even seemingly small blessings, like His sunrise, helps refocus my perspective to Him who provides all blessings and my attitude begins to change as well.
In writing to the Thessalonians, Paul first says to “Rejoice always” then to “pray without ceasing”. I think he has a reason for this. I can rejoice in the Lord and give Him praise. I can pray without ceasing (at least I can try but for the sake of time we will wait on that subject until later 😉). Evidently Paul has a method here. After the praise, and within the praying, I give thanks in everything.
Dear friends, I hope we all learn, and remember, to give thanks in all things. 😊