1 Thessalonians is a wonderful list of instructions for everyday life. Though it’s a wonderful list, the instructions can be a hard pill to swallow. Both Thessalonians are two of my favorite books of the bible. Today, I want to talk to you all about giving thanks. Having a thankful heart is very important – it reminds us just how much we are truly blessed. I know we can all fall into the habit of the world – things are good, and you tend to stray away from God – you tend to stop letting him know you need him. Things go bad, and immediately you’re asking for God to do something. 1 Thessalonians gives us in insight to that…
“Rejoice Always, Pray Continually, Give Thanks in All Circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Did you read that?
“Give Thanks in All Circumstances.”
It doesn’t say when things are bad, or when things are good, it says “in ALL circumstances”. But before I really get into that, let’s break the verse down a little bit..
A lot of people ask me why I’m so happy all the time – especially when my family has hard times here and there. Granted, I am only human and sometimes… my emotions will get the best of me. My happiness is honestly due to that verse – that and the fact that I choose to look at the bigger picture. I am alive. My husband is alive. We have two very beautiful children – both of whom went through things after their birth that could have easily made them not be here, but they are both here. We have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and all of the necessities. I am blessed, for those reasons above. For those reasons, I am happy. Yes, there are bad days. Yes, bad things do happen. If you step outside of the equation and look at the bigger picture – you will see that you really do have things in your life to be happy about. Next time you start walking around angry or sad or upset – I want you to think of it this way:
God is bigger than your problems. Turn it over to him.
That leads us to the next part,
You’re probably thinking – How in the world can I pray continually? I used to be in the same shoes you’re in now – but I promise, it’s truly not that hard to do. First thing I do when I wake up in the mornings, I begin to pray. I thank God for giving me another day with my family, and for protecting us through the night while we were sleeping. I’ll begin whatever it is I need to begin for the day – and then a little later on, I’ll pick up my conversation with God where I left off from the morning. I continue this throughout the day, and I finally end my conversation with God the moment before I decide to go to bed. I talk to God in the mornings, during my children’s nap times, in the car, anywhere. The trick? Do not finish the prayer until you are about ready to go to bed. Leave the conversation open – so there’s room to talk to God throughout the day.
Give Thanks in All Circumstances.
Good, bad, ugly, horrible, absolutely rotten. I don’t care if you’re homeless, the richest person in the world, or if things are going absolutely right for you, or even if things are going just downright horrible. There is SOMETHING in your life to be thankful for – and guess what? Everyone on this planet has two things to be thankful for that they can thank God for each and every day – Your salvation, and Your life. He woke you up this morning, didn’t he? Be thankful for that. Be thankful that despite even the worst circumstances, you are alive. Be thankful for knowing that even though things might not be going your way at that moment in time, God has a plan for you. You are breathing. Be thankful that even in the best circumstances, you are alive. You are happy and content. Be thankful that even if something was to go wrong, God is on your side.
And if you still have a hard time giving thanks in all circumstances, how about you take a little stroll to my all time favorite bible verse of all time?
“I can do all things through Christ who Strengthen Me.” Philippians 4:13
That verse is the key to happiness. That is the key to these instructions God has put together for us. You can do anything through Christ, because he will strengthen you. You can handle anything, be anything because of him. He will not forsake you. I do my best to live by these verses every day.
It is easy to fall into the trap of looking at what we do not have and complaining about it. I encourage you all to assess your current attitude towards things – even life. Are you giving thanks in all circumstances? Are you joyful always? Are you praying continuously? There is something good in everything if we will search for it. Take time to count your blessing, big and small!