give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
Growing up in Philly when I was a kid there was one radio station that my father played in his van all the time, WDAS 1480am. To this day I can hear Rev. Louise Williams voice praying in the morning with “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross”. Oh, how those memories stick, but there was another song she played by Rev. Charles Nicks entitled “Oh Give Thanks”. The words went like this:
… O give thanks to the Lord For all he has done O give thanks to the Lord For his grace we have won For he's already done what he said he would do O give thanks, give thanks to the Lord.
Our verse for today is found in a letter that the Apostle Paul is writing to those in Thessalonica, thanking them for maintaining their faith amidst trials and challenges. Paul concludes this first letter by reminding them to rejoice always, pray continually, and in everything give thanks. My focus draws attention to the 18th verse because it instructs to find gratitude in everything, if you are like me that’s not one of the easiest assignments to complete. How do you give thanks when you’re not in agreement with God’s decisions? How do you give thanks when the outcome is not good? How do you give thanks amidst bad diagnosis? How do you give thanks when you rob Peter to pay Paul? How? Well, here’s the answer to those questions, recognize that thankfulness is not limited to certain circumstances but rather in all circumstances. God’s will for us is learning how to be grateful in every situation or circumstance we find ourselves in good, bad, uncomfortable, etc. You can be thankful in every circumstance when you learn how to accept what God allows but also following verses 16-17 don’t stop rejoicing or praying and it will lead to thanksgiving.