July 17 Give thanks in everything

1 Thess 5:18 “In everything give thanks~~. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

There are several expressions in the New Testament that specifically described as the “will of God,” and they are always related to the commands in Scriptures.

Why should God give us more insight into His will when we are negligent concerning what He has specifically declared to be His will? Are we truly thankful in every circumstance?

“Everything” means all that happens, including struggles, hurts, failures, conflicts, testings, opposition, challenges, difficulties, disappointments, and losses. We must give thanks not for everything but in everything.

Bad things can happen to believers, but these things do not necessarily come directly from God. In the midst of negative circumstances, we can be thankful for His presence and that He shares our hurts or losses. He is with us: “Lo, I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Matt 28:20).

In Acts 5:41, the disciples “departed from the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” In Romans 8:28, Paul described the foundation for thankfulness: “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Our omnipotent God, whose purpose will ultimately be beneficial to us or to others, controls life’s circumstances.

Knowing that He is in control, and that whatever happens is part of a bigger purpose, we can trust Him because He considers us trustworthy to be part of His plan.

Grounded in this perspective, thanksgiving will be an indispensable part of our prayers. Paul wrote, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Col 4:2). Nothing expresses our trust in God more than a thankful heart: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt 12:34).

After six years in chains, Paul said at his trial, “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me . . . that all the Gentiles might hear” (2 Tim 4:17). God’s purpose makes everything worthwhile. Learn to be thankful . . . and tell Him.

“Father, though our lives may be in turmoil and joy is far from us, we can be thankful that You are present, that You understand, and that You are in control of all things. Because of that, we can rest and draw strength from You. Thank You.”

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