Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal
GRATITUDE FOR ALL
At the close of his first prison letter to the Church in Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul issued a final set of instructions to aid the members there regarding some ethical problems and theological concerns they were having during that first century period. They were excellent instructions…applicable and beneficial just as much now as they were then.
I’d like to highlight a few of them; then concentrate specifically on one of them.
He told them 1) not to issue wrong treatment in response to receiving wrong treatment, 2) to always pursue the qualities of goodness among their community of believers and to all mankind (1 Thessalonians 5:15 – my paraphrase). 3) He encouraged them to ever be joyful and 4) to pray (communicate with God) without allowing the communication to end (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 – also my paraphrase).
I hope you’ll agree that those are indeed excellent instructions anyone could adopt and put into practice that would help the doer while simultaneously disallowing the doer from harming or hurting anyone else.
Immediately following those four instructions, he stated one so amazing and profound that I’m both awed and humbled by it every time I read and remember it. He said, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)
Hear/read it via the following translations:
§ 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 (the Revealer and Mediator of that will). (The Amplified Bible)
§ Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. (Contemporary English Version)
§ Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (English Standard Version)
§ Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live (The Message)
§ Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank Him because you believe in Christ Jesus. (New International Reader’s Version)
§ In everything give thanks. This is what God wants you to do because of Christ Jesus. (New Life Version)
§ No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (New Living Translation)
In submitting these several translations, I’m hoping you get the visual I have – as a member of the family of God by my faith in Jesus Christ; I am to be grateful, have and exhibit gratitude in all circumstances, instances, and situations encountered, because that is the sincere, heart-felt desire and intention of God personal concerning me.
God’s loving will for all who belong to Him, is that we give Him gratitude for all. Regardless of whether it pertains to happiness or sorrow, ease or severity, pleasure or pain, you name it, the child of God is to be thankful and give gratitude for it all.
Like you, I’ve suffered many things in this brief life we are privileged to live. I’ve experienced pain in numerous forms just like you have. I’ve lost loved-ones, been hurt/mistreated/wounded, suffered through sickness, and the like. I’ve also known goodness, happiness, and joy, and I’ve learned that it is infinitely much better for me to be grateful about everything than it is for me to be bitter about some things. The gratitude attitude the Apostle Paul taught helps me to endure, rise above, and make it through the things in my life that consist of circumstances, things, and situations that are or have been depressing, devastating, or dissatisfying.
Recently while driving to work, I began to give thanks to God regarding some physical ailments that have been troubling me. I began to thank God for allowing me to have physical inabilities and limitations; I began to thank Him that in my physical weaknesses, I can acknowledge and rely upon His strength and power to carry me along. As I expressed gratitude to Him for allowing me to experience unpleasant circumstances, I began to feel and be better!
God is faithful in all that He says and does! He is concerned about all mankind and His will for us, regardless of what comes to us, is to be grateful to Him.
So remember: No matter what you’ve experienced, are now facing, or will go through, give gratitude for all!
Copyright 2004 © Paul Schneidmill