In everything by Amy Clark
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “… in everything, give thanks…”
It is easy (though we are prone to forget) to be grateful for the good in our lives. Once started, the list seems infinite of things to be grateful to our Father for: salvation, relationship with Him, relationships with others, life, the ability to love, the rising and setting sun, the beauty of nature… the list can go on and on.
But are we just thanking Him for what we see as good in our lives? Or are we thanking Him for what we might consider difficult, unpleasant, or painful? He is with us in both. He is our Father in both. This verse in 1 Thessalonians exhorts us to give thanks in everything, whether good or bad.
I don’t believe that we can positive-think our way out of difficult situations. But I do believe that God calls us to trust Him and as this verse says, to even thank Him when things are rough. What happens next isn’t up to us, but I’ve seen evidence in my own life that turning towards God in times of trouble will deepen our relationship with Him while turning from Him will cause our lives to spiral further out of control.
The rest of the verse goes on to say, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Wow. This is not just a recommendation or a suggestion. Giving thanks in everything is part of God’s will for us.
How are we supposed to be grateful in everything when things might be really rough? We need to be unshakably sure of the eternal joy given to us by God. When the reality of eternity brushes our finite consciousnesses, it leaves traces of this unspeakable joy. I am constantly bogged down with the mundane day-to-day worries and demands of everyday life. But through this fog, God is gracious enough to give glimmers of His radiance. Let us rather set out minds on what is above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). This is definitely easier said than done at certain times in our lives than at others. But how else are we to live a life of gratitude and thereby perform the will of God in our lives?
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Stay strong, keep the faith, look for the glimmers of God’s grace in your life, and in everything, give thanks.