‘…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ 1 Thessalonians 5.18
It’s likely that we are all quite good at thanking God in some circumstances, especially when something lovely has happened, but the command in this verse is that we should give thanks in all circumstances – every single one!
This presents us with quite a challenge, particularly since there are many things for which it seems quite wrong to give thanks. However, giving thanks in all circumstances is very different from giving thanks for all circumstances. Paul is encouraging us to look at every situation and to try to see something of God’s touch and provision in it. Our difficulty with this is that we are not used to looking at situations in this way. We automatically tend to look at the difficulties and problems, and by looking at these we are diverted from the active presence of God. It would be nice if his presence meant that nothing bad could ever happen to us, but sadly this isn’t the case. However, it does mean that if we open our eyes to him, we will see little touches of his handiwork all around us.
Is there a situation that is really hard for you at the moment? If so, turn your attention away from the hardship or anxiety and instead focus on these little touches of God, for which you can give thanks.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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