In good times, times of oppression, in all circumstances give thanks, because God is working on your behalf.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Giving thanks, along with rejoicing and praying all the time, is God’s will for you! Giving thanks in ALL circumstances!
That that last bit, the ALL circumstances part, makes it a harder, doesn’t it? There are some situations we encounter where thanks is not our first response. It seems unnatural.
Why would I give thanks in this circumstance? It stinks!
Take a minute or two to look up and read Psalm 107. It’s a tad too long for printing. You’ll find people turning to God and giving thanks to him as he brings them through crazy stuff. When you’re done reading, ask yourself the questions below.
Have you ever been hungry or thirsty? Have you been distressed, unsettled? Did you give thanks then?
Have you been in the darkest prison? Have you been subjected to bitter labor? We all have those days when work is more a chore than a joy. Give thanks then?
Have you rebelled against God? Have the consequences been hard to deal with? Can you give thanks to God for those times when he corrected you and led you out of the habits that were destroying you?
Ever been fearful, at your wit’s end, in the depths of despair with not a bit of courage left? Give thanks in all circumstances?
In good times, give thanks! In oppression, give thanks! In calamity and sorrow, give thanks!