How Can I Be Thankful in All Circumstances?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 24, 2014 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

This time of year, our focus often turns to being thankful. We get bombarded with Thanksgiving advertisements; we make plans to spend time with family; and we’re reminded in many places that we should be thankful for what we have. It’s easy to be thankful on Thanksgiving, or when all is going well in your life. But what about being thankful in ALL circumstances, and all year long?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul writes, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The key to the last part of giving thanks in all circumstances is held in the first two parts: rejoice always, and pray continually.

In order to be thankful, even in the really bad times of life, we need to always be rejoicing. But, how can we have joy when life stinks? A couple months ago, I wrote about that. We should consider it pure joy to be going through the difficult times of life, because those are what God uses to strengthen us and help us grow to be more like Him. Even if we’re not happy with the circumstances of our lives at the moment, we still have the joy of knowing Jesus Christ and being in relationship with the God of the universe. Knowing that Jesus died to save us from when we mess up should be all we need to have complete joy in all circumstances!

But, we are human and we forget about the wonderful love that God has for us. We may try to always rejoice, but we’ll fail at that at times. So what do we do? We turn to the second part of the verse I quoted above - pray continually. That doesn’t mean we need to spend every moment on our knees in total focus on God, but it does mean that God should be always on our hearts and minds even as we go about the tasks of our day. When we’re communicating with God through prayer, we will be constantly reminded of His love and sacrifice for us, so that we are better able to rejoice always. Granted, our human minds will stray from God and turn away from Him, but through His forgiveness we’re always given another chance and can get back on track.

If we’re rejoicing always and praying continually, we can’t help but to be thankful in all circumstances! When we have the true joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ, we will be thankful in the good times and in the bad times; in November and in every other month of the year.

What can you do in your life to embrace that joy, so you can be thankful in everything?