In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:18
I remember a scene in the cult favorite movie, “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie gets a precious gift from his aunt: a handmaid, full-body, pink bunny outfit. The look of horror on his face is priceless as he is forced to put it on so mom can admire it. I’m sure that he was a little less than thankful for that gift. I can remember in my own childhood during gift-giving occasions having the same kind of feelings toward gifts that I saw as duds. I think we have all had those moments.
But as we prepare today to sit down at a table to eat Thanksgiving dinner with gathered family and friends, it is important to note that being thankful for what we have is vital to our relationship with God. And while that is an important component of our walk with Him, in this verse, we are stretched a little further. We are told to give thanks in all circumstances.
Give thanks when you have been told that your job has been terminated. Give thanks when your bank account is overdrawn and you don’t know where the money is going to come from. Give thanks when you have buried your spouse and you have three children to raise. Give thanks when your bed consists of a couple of wooden pallets and some cardboard. Give thanks when the doctor has diagnosed you with terminal cancer with six months to live.
It seems outrageous to think about thanking God when we may face these circumstances. But when we give thanks to God, it deepens our relationship with Him by reminding us who is the giver and sustainer of life. When we thank God while we are in the middle of a pile crap, it reminds us from whom all blessings come. When we thank God in the middle of the storm, it reminds us who is our shield, our fortress, and our rock. When we thank God in the darkest of nights, we are reminded that He knows our path (Job 23:10) and that He has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
Thank God, always.


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