Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be,
be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God
for you [who are] in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:18 AMP
This is most definitely something that is more easily said than done. But since it’s God’s Word, it must be something that is not only doable, but beneficial as well. Now first of all you have to understand that the verse says in everything give thanks. It doesn’t say give thanks for everything. God doesn’t expect us to give thanks for a toothache or a financial setback. But he does expect us to give thanks in the midst of trouble. An “attitude of gratitude” can see us through even the most difficult of circumstances. Even though things may not be ideal, we can always find something to be thankful for. Many nights when I crawl into bed I say, “Thank you, Lord, for my own bed with clean sheets and a soft pillow for my head.” What a difference it makes in the way we feel, to look for something to be thankful for. It changes our whole outlook, attitude and demeanor.
I recently read about a young man in Great Britain who is an accomplished and nationally acclaimed, writer. He is only in his twenties, but is hailed as a genius in his field. That in itself is awe inspiring. But much more so is the fact that this young man was born with multiple sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair. The severity of his disease is such that it takes him thirty minutes to write one word. Yes, you read that right…thirty minutes to write one word! Can you imagine?! The account said that when he was young he was despondent and complained of his plight. But his mom said to him, “You have two good eyes and a bright mind. Make the best of what you have!” He thought about it and decided to have the “attitude of gratitude” that we talked about. It made all the difference in the world for his entire future. I can’t even conceive of having such a dire obstacle to overcome. Most of us can’t. Surely we can use the story of this young man to motivate us to “give thanks in everything.”
The Bible tells us that because the Children of Israel murmured and complained they totally missed out on the blessings of entering into the promised land…the land of milk and honey…a place of rest. God brought them out of bondage to the Egyptians by opening the Red Sea for them and allowing them to walk through on dry ground and yet they constantly challenged His ability to provide for them. And when He did provide, it was never good enough! Can you see any such similarities in your own life? Paul tells us in the Book of Hebrews that we need to be careful lest we fall into the same pattern of murmuring and complaining as the Children of Israel and we fail to enter into that rest.
The Psalmist tells us that God inhabits the praises of His people. Would you like for God to inhabit your life…your circumstances? Then, learn to thank and praise Him that the answer is on its way and enter into the rest that only trust in Him can provide!
The chains that seem to bind you, will fall powerless behind you…
when you praise Him!