…. give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Have you ever wanted to know God’s will? Well here is one instance (and there are many), where the Bible makes God’s will crystal clear. It is God’s will that the believer should give thanks in all circumstances, for this is his God’s will in Christ Jesus. The believer gives thanks, not because the situation is good, but because it is God’s will. It means giving thanks in the hard times, as well as in the good times.
This scripture became real for me many years ago, when I fell seriously ill. As I thrashed back and forth on my bed, delirious from a burning fever, my mother would not leave my bedside. All night, she sat beside me, repeatedly wetting a washcloth and cooling my forehead. Even in my condition, I found myself thanking God for a loving and attentive mother; a mother who provided for my comfort; a protective mother who became the “night guard by my side who wouldn’t quit,” a mother whose presence gave me a deep sense of security. I knew that I was not alone in the battle, and I had confidence that everything would be alright. The Great “I AM” is all this, and more to those who trust in him. He is the ever-watchful Father whose eye examines every issue pertaining to his children. In the midst of the toughest battles and in the midst of the greatest joys, the believer can give thanks for his provision, protection and his everlasting Presence.
Today, give thanks for his faithfulness. As you cry out to him in your struggle, know that he is close to you. Let his Presence calm you and re-assure you of his unending and unrelenting love. Indeed, he is the LORD whose love reaches the heavens, and whose faithfulness reaches the skies (Psalm 36:5). No matter how complicated or painful your situation is, know that, “He’s got you!” You’ll get through this. Give thanks for a deeper understanding of his Peace. It is one thing to quote scripture about peace in the good times (Isaiah 26:3), it is another thing to be in the middle of life’s storms, where terror (anxiety, desperation, loneliness etc.) forces you to grab ahold of him and not let go; where you are forced to acknowledge that Peace is a person (Philippians 4:7) and that Person alone, is your ultimate protector. Give thanks for the constant provision and assurance of his goodness; that no matter what you may be going through, his plans for you are for good and not for evil; that his plans for you are to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11; James 1:2-4). And for all these things you can give thanks no matter what, in accordance with his good and perfect will.
Holy God! You are good and gracious, and your works are marvelous to me. Thank you for loving me, providing for me and protecting me with your Presence. Indeed, I don’t worry about the future because I know you hold my hand. AMEN.