In a couple weeks, most of us will celebrate Thanksgiving. A number of my friends on Facebook use the month of November to post something they are thankful for each and every day of the month. I think that is a worthy exercise.
Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is one of countless examples in the Bible where we are admonished to be thankful and it is important to note that these admonitions are not tied exclusively to pleasant and positive circumstances. We are told to give “thanks ALWAYS for ALL things.”
As humans, it seems counterintuitive to be thankful during times of pain and sorrow… yet, that is the concept that God puts forth. To be happy and thankful for the positive things in life is not much of a challenge but to have a heart of praise and gratitude through illness, financial crisis, family turbulence or any other storm of life takes far more effort. I find this an almost impossible task absent a strong faith.
Faith is the antidote to worry and despair. Faith is that state of our spirit that allows us to see beyond our circumstances and see God’s hand at work in our lives. Faith is that element that alleviates our concerns despite not knowing exactly how everything will ultimately play out. Faith is that gift that gives us rest because we believe God when he tells us to allow him to carry our burdens for us.
What God doesn’t cause, He allows. If we love Him and we are called according to His purpose, no matter how dark our night, how dire the circumstances or how violent the storm… we can be thankful that He promises to weave the events together in a way that works toward our good. We know this to be true by reading Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
During this season of thanksgiving and beyond… give thanks always… for all things.