Giving Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 ‘Give thanks in all circumstances…’ (v18)

If you have ever been around a moaner, you might find it very waring. The capacity to see the negative in any situation would win them an Olympic medal if it was a sport. The apostle is looking for us to do the exact opposite by giving thanks in all circumstances.

The wording is very clear – of course we don’t give thanks for all circumstances, knowing that God’s kingdom has not come and His will is not being done on earth as it is in heaven. Many circumstances need challenging, praying about, and overcoming.

But the attitude Paul urges upon us is that there is no situation where God cannot work for good and so, in that sense, we can give thanks. Our minds, of course, go to the hard things in life: the unexpected death of a baby, the onset of an illness, the failure of a relationship, the devastation caused by a natural disaster.

Such circumstances drive every human being to the very limit. But just as the apostle had learned to be content in every situation, he calls us to look to God to be thankful for what we can be thankful for and to trust Him for what we do not understand and do not like.

Just as a moaner can find the downside, we will learn to find the upside in whatever comes our way. Why not try it today?


A Prayer To Make:
‘I accept that it is Your will to rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, but I can only do these things with Your help. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
If circumstances come to mind as you’ve been thinking of this, then seek to be thankful in them. Determine the next time you find life difficult to turn your thoughts to God.

Scripture To Consider:
Job 42:1–17; Neh. 8:10–18; Rom. 8:28–39; Jas 1:1–18

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.