In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
We have no problem giving thanks during good times – we are happy; we are healthy; the money isn’t funny; life is good. We also have no problem giving thanks for tangible things we consider good – homes, cars, wardrobes, etc. However, the above scripture instructs us to give thanks in EVERY thing – now that is an issue.
How do we give thanks when we are experiencing trouble in our lives? How do we give thanks when we are losing our stuff? The car has been repossessed; the home has been foreclosed; we can’t make ends meet; we are robbing Peter to pay Paul; the children are rebelling; the spouse is straying; sickness and disease are taking a toll on the body – how do we give thanks when we are going through all of that? During those times, we most often find ourselves stressed and depressed, and being thankful is far from our minds or hearts. As a matter of fact, we do not SEE anything to be thankful about. In those times, we have to make a decision to trust God, and our decision is not based on what is happening in our lives or how we feel; it is based on who God is, and He is BIGGER than anything that we face. (“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4)
When the scripture directs us to give thanks in all things, it does not imply that we are happy about the situation or circumstance. To give thanks simply means, Lord I trust You! In this space and time where I am right now – whatever it looks like; whatever it feels like; I trust You and I am relying solely on You. We can give thanks to Him because our lives are in His hands and He is the one that delivers us out of every situation. (“My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.” Psalm 31:15)
We can give thanks in difficult times and even devastating times because we know who is ordering our steps. (“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,” Psalm 37:23). The place we are in is not a surprise to God. We can trust Him because He already knows every decision we will make and every step we will take in our lives. He is, “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Revelation 22:13. He is the all-knowing, omniscient God. (“Before I formed you in the belly I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5). Therefore, we can be thankful in all things because we know who holds our future, and He has promised “that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. Therefore, we put our faith and our trust in His Word, in His Promises, and say thank you. Thank you for the good, the bad, and the ugly; thank you for the joy and the pain; thank you for the sunshine and the rain; thank you for the calm and the storms; thank you for life and thank you even for death; because before death there was life. Thank you Lord for EVERY thing!