1 THESSALONIANS 5:18
“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I want to challenge you to do a word study. Look up how many times the Bible mentions “God’s will” or “the will of God.” Make a list of all the things it says is God’s will for your life. The list may just surprise you. And here we have one more thing that is included in God’s will for you – to give thanks in everything.
Notice, Paul didn’t say “for” everything. It’s hard to thank God for some things. But IN whatever situation, we can thank Him. My brother and sister-in-law give thanks for my brother’s cancer he had several years ago. Now, they don’t thank Him FOR the cancer, but they are truly grateful for the opportunity it gave them to trust Him afresh with his very life.
Help your little Elrod or Gertrude make a list of things for which they are thankful. They will probably list the good stuff. Most of us would also. But help them think of some things that were difficult. Talk about what they learned through those things and how they can thank God for them. This is a deliberate choice on our part. We don’t naturally do this.
How about helping them thank God for the difficult people in their lives? “What?! Carl, you can’t mean that!” Well, I don’t, but God does. He places people in our lives who will challenge us and whom He will use to make us more like Him. We can thank Him for that. We don’t enjoy the process, but we sure love the outcome.
Are you thankful? Are you giving the Lord all the gratitude for all the things He allows to touch you? If you are like me, you probably aren’t. It’s hard to thank Him when your eyes are on the situation. Look up. Know that He is there. His will, His desire for you, His best offer can be accepted or rejected. What will you do with it.
Lord, I must confess that sometimes I find it hard to thank You for some of the things that come into my life. But I must trust that if You allow them, You have a purpose for them. For that I am thankful.