1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Throughout scripture we see the command to "give thanks" unto the Lord our God who has been, is and forever will be. We are to thank Him for His gracious love and kindness towards towards us, especially those of us who are of the household of faith. We are to daily thank the Lord our God for who He is and how he saved our souls.
The call to the people of God on today is "IN" all things, give thanks. In the good, bad, messy, ugly, painful, joyful, weak, strong, happy or sad times, we are to continue to praise and give God thanks, even in the midst of circumstances in our lives that are not always pleasant or going the way we want them.
The writer of this text, the Apostle Paul, exhorts us not to give thanks for all things, but "IN" all things, give God thanks.
In other words, we are being commanded to "Tell God Thank You" no matter what happens or what we may go through for this is His will for us in Christ Jesus.
I recall a situation I had been in a few years ago as I was studying and preparing for a thanksgiving message that I was going to preach from this same text a few weeks later about giving thanks in all things.
I did not realize at the time that it was God giving me this message for me first. It hit me like a ton of rocks when I did realized it. I had to deal with my ungratefulness first before I was able to deliver what God had given me for His people. Talk about a reality check!
This, I believe was one of the most hardest sermons I had to write because at the time of preparation prior to, I was not feeling thankful, because my situation, was one that I was in no way thankful for in the midst of it.
As I rant and continued to grumbly complain to the Lord about it for a while, a few days before it was time for me to deliver the message God had given me for His people, I heard this still small voice speak to my mind's heart and said "Debra, stop complaining about what is and thank me for what is not." It was like a light bulb came on in my head and I immediately repented and said "thank You Lord" because I realized that what I could have been experiencing would have been worse than what I was experiencing.
That day the Holy Spirit gave me a glimpse of what my situation could have been and from that day forward, I have learned, I said I have learned and am still learning to be thankful "IN" all things and not necessarily for all things because all things that happens to us is not good, BUT, GOD IS GOOD!
The good news about giving thanks "IN" all things is that we know God is working them for the good of them that love Him, them that are called according to His purpose.
Will giving thanks "IN" all things be easy? I promise you it won't! But, as hard as it may be to do it, it still beats falling into a mindset of despair, defeat, anger or rage when things do not go the way we want them to.
Remember, the call is "IN" all things give God thanks. God can give us peace and contentment that surpass all understanding, even in the midst of life's storms, even in the midst of those situations and circumstances that are not so pleasant at the times.
As hard as it may be to rejoice always, what is our alternative? THINK ABOUT IT!
Are the storms raging in your life? Is the thunder rolling in your life? Does trouble seem to be on every hand? Dealing with wayward children or an unsaved spouse ? Are you dealing with medical or financial issues? Is the lightning flashing in your life and does not appear to cease anytime soon? GIVE THANKS! For this is the Lord's will concerning you and I "IN" all things.
I pray that today would be the day that WE ALL purpose in our hearts that "IN" all things we will continue to "TELL THE LORD THANK YOU" because it is in those test, sufferings, pain and trials of life where we gain our testimony of God's goodness, God's presence ,God's power and God's provision on our behalf.
God expects us to have a grateful spirit regardless! When we are thankful "IN" all things, we are showing our gratitude to God. When we thank Him "IN" all things, it puts our focus on Him and not so much on what we are going through.
Remember! "IN" all things, we are never alone for the Lord our God is right there leading and guiding us through by His Holy Spirit with love.
Thanking God and trusting Him "IN" all things demonstrates our faith in Him and our willingness to surrender our lives to Him "IN" all things knowing that He has the best plan for our now and our future.
Will you trust the Lord on today even "IN" the midst of those things that seems to make no sense at times? Those things that are painful and hard to bare at times? Will you trust Him?
When we give thanks, not "FOR" all things, but "IN" all things, we are showing God gratefulness from our hearts.
God bless and do tell the Lord thank you "IN" all things.