"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Many divine commands seem perfectly reasonable - for example, no adultery, no idols, and no murder. But then, the Lord also gave some instructions that ostensibly make little sense. Let's look at why He calls us to the seemingly impossible task of giving thanks in everything.
The Scriptures clearly teach that giving thanks is meant to be a way of life, not just a seasonal event. (Philippians 4:6-7, Psalm 92:1-2) The problem is that we often do not feel appreciative, particularly when facing painful circumstances or faith tests. In fact, expressing gratitude for bad news seems irrational. Our limited claim to rationality, however, cannot compete with God's greater knowledge of what is best for His children. As a result, we live a successful Christian life only by choosing to thank Him for everything He sends or allows across our path.
What the Lord knows is that gratitude powerfully impacts the believer. Trials can leave us feeling isolated, but thanking God for His ongoing care or provision reminds us of His constant presence. Equipped with the knowledge that He is in control, we can submit our will to His. Though our circumstances remain the same, our attitude is divinely changed through trust.
Remember: Romans 8:28 promises that all things work together for the believer's good. That means the Lord has a purpose for every event He orchestrates or permits.
Thankfulness motivates us to seek His purpose. In God's perfect time, the divine plan is revealed, and we can tell Him with sincere hearts, "Lord, thank You!"
Question: Even if you're going through tough times, what do you have to be thankful to the Lord for today?