'give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.' (1Thess5:18)
this thanksgiving, i wanted to share something i heard this week regarding this verse and one small word... in. throughout my life, i think i've interpreted this instruction to read - give thanks for all circumstances. i think sometimes as Christians, we may be encouraged to give thanks for our circumstances, no matter what they may be. which is real easy to do when things are "going your way". but what about when they aren't? when you lose your job? when you can't afford your mortgage and your house is foreclosed? when yet another person you know is diagnosed with cancer? when your 9 day old niece dies unexpectedly? when you've been praying about something for weeks or months or years and God seems silent? when you feel like you just can't take any more bad news?
when my mindset is that i should be giving thanks for my circumstances, i start questioning God. i question His love, His goodness, His kindness. i ask why? i get angry, my attitude turns bitter, and i start to doubt Him.
but that is not at all what God is asking of me. He wants me to give thanks in all circumstances. this one little word makes a world of difference in my heart. our circumstances are going to be trying and at times, unbearable. but our hearts can give thanks. we can choose a posture of gratitude. today, i'm giving thanks for my salvation, for a family and friends who stand by one another in the face of tragedy, and for a God who loves me, just as i am.
my circumstances are out of my control. the beat of my heart is up to me.
today, i'm giving thanks in my circumstances.