“Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”1 Thessalonians 5 vs 18
Give thanks in every circumstance. This is one of those biblical instructions that seem unrealistic. How does one really give thanks in all circumstances?
Many times, I’ve asked myself if the writer understood the level of pain and loss that exists in this world. How could he give such a crazy instruction?
2 Timothy 3:16
But then I remember, the words written in 2nd Timothy 3:16
Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
Training in righteousness. An integral part of our Christian journey is sanctification, i.e the process of becoming CHRISTLIKE, in every single way.
Sanctification is not easy, but it is necessary if we desire to see evidence of God’s weighty investment in us, which is a transformed life.
The word of God is for training in righteousness.
Teaching us to be righteous. When we come to God, we become righteous by nature, just as a child born to you, bears your DNA. However, we have to be trained in righteousness, i.e the ways of God. The same way a child born to you would have to be taught many different things, in order to be a worthy member of your family and productive member of society.
Training is not always fun, but it needs to be done. Training also doesn’t always feel natural, easy or convenient either. For example, a child would probably find brushing their teeth twice every day inconvenient (I’m an adult and I still do), but it needs to be done for optimal hygiene, even on the days they don’t feel like it or throw tantrums. Similarly, a child may hate eating vegetables, but no child can survive on a diet of candy.
It is the same thing with us. We need training in righteousness, and the word of God provides a valuable curriculum for our training.
Hence the instruction. God knows that there will be times in your life where giving thanks is the last thing you would want to do. There are things that will happen to you, that will literally knock the wind out of your sails and make you want to curl up and cease to exist, but child of God, the instruction remains to give thanks in all circumstances.
This is what preserves you. This is what preserves your heart from harbouring offence against God.
Job models this so perfectly. He watched his life crumble within a short period and lost everything. Yet, his response was:
“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.”Job 1:21-22
Dear believer, the Spirit of God empowers you to give thanks in all circumstances.
You see, as a child of God, you are no mere mortal. You are a King and Priest unto God.
He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.Revelations 1:6
A priest ministers to God always. No matter the circumstances. There’s no day off.
In the Old Testament, Priests were commanded to ensure that fire never went off on the altar in the tabernacle.
The fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not go out. The priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and he shall arrange the burnt offering on it and shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.Leviticus 6:12
We are now God’s dwelling place, and His Spirit lives in us. We must keep the fire burning. One of the ways we do this is by expressing gratitude in praise, worship and thanksgiving, at all times and in every circumstance.
God is an eternal God who deserves and commands eternal worship.
And each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around and within. Day and night they never stop saying:
“Holy, Holy, Holy,
is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”Revelations 4:8
The (painful) circumstances of our lives are not enough of an excuse to not give thanks, as harsh as that sounds.
In Job’s example, we see a beautiful picture of how grief, and praise/thanksgiving can co exist. He did not deny his grief, but he also did not deny that God was supreme always in all circumstances.
Apostle Paul who enjoined the Thessalonians, to give thanks always, experienced many painful situations. Many times, his life was at risk. He experienced beatings, imprisonment, a shipwreck, and murder attempts. Despite all this, he encouraged believers to give thanks in all circumstances.
Who better to charge us to give thanks always, than someone who experienced such terrible circumstances?
For the next 50 days we will give thanks to our God together because he is worthy always.
Thanksgiving prompt: Thank God for who he is. Give him thanks using attributes of his nature. Recall times you’ve experienced different aspects of his nature.
Example: Lord I thank you for your faithfulness. I have experienced your faithfulness towards me in different ways, such as your constant provision and your protection. I am grateful for your faithfulness.
I advice that you journal your thanksgiving, it will help you engage in it more consciously, and in 50 days, you will have a record of gratitude.
You can play the song below as you give thanks to God.
Thank you for reading! Please share this with as many people as possible! God deserves our gratitude.
I’ll Give Thanks- Housefires ft. Kirby Kaple