Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Giving Thanks in All Circumstances

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Adam Winger

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

~1 Thessalonians 5:18

This is a verse that I would imagine many of us have wrestled with if we are being honest. But what I find to be the cause of that wrestling isn't so much what the verse actually says, but what we wrongly believe it to say.

Oftentimes, we subconsciously imagine this verse to be telling us that we are to give thanks *for* all circumstances - the scary diagnosis, the financial hardship, the divorce - and then we rail against God asking Him how on earth we are supposed to be thankful for those things.

But, friends, that simply is not what the verse says.

It says we are to give thanks *in* all circumstances. 

And that one word change makes a world of difference! 

It isn't that we give thanks for the hard trial we are facing - those hard trials are direct results of the fall and therefore not something we are expected to be grateful for. But it is that we are to give thanks even when we are smack dab in the middle of yet another hard trial.

How do we do this? 

It all comes back to knowing, believing, and embracing the character of God. I often say that you cannot trust a God you do not know - you have to know the character of God in order to trust Him. And then it is that trust in a good, kind, wise, sovereign, compassionate, empathetic, loving God that is what then enables you to give thanks in all circumstances, for you know that whatever is allowed to touch you must first be sifted through the hands of a kind and wise Father. 

So, how do we give thanks in all circumstances? By knowing and believing that our kind God works everything together for our good. There is a purpose in our pain. There is a plan for our trial. We must simply have the vision required for seeing and remembering those truths - and that vision comes about as we meditate on and remember the character of our wise King. 

Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving this week, and may the Spirit of God enable you to give thanks in your circumstances. <3 

Reflection Questions:

1) Have you ever wrongly read this verse to mean that you are to give thanks *for* all circumstances?

2) How does it change things for you to realize that, instead, you are being called to give thanks *in* all circumstances?

3) What truth about the character of God do you need to meditate on today in order to give thanks in your current circumstances?

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