I have a friend that wakes up each day and proclaims, “Thank you, Jesus, for waking me up!” I love that! Is her life free of troubles? No. She is dealing with hard issues going on in her life that could get her down. Instead, she chooses to rise up and praise the name of Jesus for another day to serve the God of the universe.
She is living out giving thanks in all circumstances.
In the New Testament, we read Paul’s words to Timothy as he ministered to the people in Thessalonica.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
These words come after rejoice always and pray without ceasing (vs. 16-17). But sometimes it is hard to give thanks in every situation we encounter.
Let’s look at what the Bible means about giving thanks, why we should give thanks, and how we can be thankful in all circumstances.
What does the Bible mean by giving thanks in all circumstances?
What the writers of Thessalonians meant by this is to actively give thanks every day in each and everything that you do. Being thankful isn’t just a time of thanksgiving and to be done once a year. It is to be done all the time.
Remember the perspective of whether the glass is half-empty or half-full? The thought here is that if you believe the glass is half-empty, you have a tendency to think negatively. And if you believe the glass is half-full, then you tend to think positively.
When something happens in your life, do you get down on yourself and think about all the things that went wrong? Or do you think about all the things in that situation that went right and how God took care of you?
The other day my mom took a fall outside her gym and did a complete face plant. Her eye and cheek look like someone hauled off and decked her a good one!
But as I heard the story of how it all happened, I began to thank God for the friend who was with her when she fell, the people who came along to help, the young lady who told someone to go inside and get her a chair, and for the good report from the CT scan and how she was not badly injured. As a feeble 78-year-old, she could have easily broken a bone. However, I chose to think about all the ways that God provided for her needs, even in a seemingly bad situation.
Why should we give thanks in all circumstances?
We are to give thanks in all circumstances because it is God’s will for us to do this. Often times it is hard to understand God’s will meaning. In this verse, the word will in Greek here means “to do what God commands.”
When you tell your child to clean their room. You don’t say to them, “It would be nice if you cleaned your room today.” If you said it like that, it sounds like cleaning their room is optional. But if you said, “You need to clean up your room today.” Now, this sounds like a command and they will need to get that room cleaning done today.
God wants us to think about being thankful all the time. It leads to having a better perspective. And it causes us to pause and thank God for all He has done to provide for us.
How can I be thankful in all circumstances in my life?
But sometimes it is so hard to be thankful in ALL circumstances. How is it possible?
In this verse, we learn that this command can be done IN Christ Jesus. When we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior and ask Him to come into our lives, we get the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. That power of the Holy Spirit is the same power that rose Jesus from the dead.
We have the ability to say thanks in all circumstances because we are IN Christ.
Remember to Give Thanks in All Things!
So tomorrow when you wake up, thank Jesus for waking you up! And then the rest of the day, continue to thank God in each and everything throughout your day. When you do this, your outlook on the whole day will change and you will be making a joyful noise to God!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2
How can you be giving thanks in all circumstances? Let us know below!
Also, if you are looking to get more “anchored” in prayer, we have this resource for you!
Cindy is a writer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a wife to Dave for 33 years, a mother of two grown kids who serve the Lord, one son-in-love, one daughter-in-love, 4 wonderful grandchildren and foster grandchild. She is a full-time Information Services manager by day and a writer at night. She teaches a women’s Bible study at her church and runs the sound for worship.