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BEING THANKFUL IN “EVERYTHING”

 

Paul Schneidmill


Near the conclusion of his first letter to the Thessalonian church, the Apostle Paul gives these instructions, “In everything gives thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)      

 

Though I‘ve learned to be thankful in every circumstance, instance, and situation (thankfully), I cannot say that I always do it without difficulty or that I am a constant and consistent practitioner of this particular directive issued to the Christian church then, and to the Christian church today. 

 

Let’s examine the difficulty of having to give thanks for “everything” with some examples of the “everything” that “everything” includes. 

 

“In everything give thanks…” - when your physician diagnoses you with an undesirable medical condition.

“In everything give thanks…” - when the IRS sends you an end-of-year tax statement indicating you owe more than you’ve already paid.

“In everything give thanks…” - when you must visit the gas station twice a week as opposed to once.

“In everything give thanks…” - when you are lied to or lied about. (That’s a personal tough one for me.)

 

Undoubtedly, I could submit more examples and you could include of host of your own.  However, it’s the trail part of the directive, the “all after” the colon, that let’s us know “being thankful” is always doable, even if there’s a sense of difficulty due to the circumstances.

 

“…for this (whatever it is – blessing, favor, goodness, injustice, mistreatment, opportunity, ordeal, pain, pleasure, privilege, ridicule, trial, etc.) is the will of God (the Father) in (implemented through) Christ Jesus (the Son and Savior) concerning (pertaining to) you.”

 

I’ve lost loved ones (a son of mine died before his second birthday), but I gave thanks for the precious time I had with him while he was alive.

 

I’ve been diagnosed with an incurable-by-man condition, but I gave thanks for the wisdom and insight God gave me as He carried me through it (Psalm 119:71).

 

And, yes, I’ve had to pay taxes when I was hoping to get a refund, but I gave thanks that I had employment and was able to pay them.

 

Things will not always appear or be easy to be thankful for, but if you view it from the “because portion” of the verse, you recognize and realize that God’s will for you is and will always be better than our will for ourselves. 

 

This is the formula for “being thankful,”…especially in “everything.”

 

Paul Schneidmill © Copyright 2005