Attitude of Gratitude

Always be joyful. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

For years I struggled to understand these verses. How could God expect us to be thankful for everything (all circumstances) in our lives? Being thankful for the good things in my life made perfect sense – but being thankful for the bad things? No way!

I could never imagine saying, “Thank you, God that I am sick today” or “Thank you that my car broke down on the freeway.” On a more profound note, I have never been thankful that my oldest son was killed in a car accident when he was eighteen.

Then I took a closer look. God didn’t say to give thanks “for” all circumstances. He asked us to be thankful “in” all circumstances. I think this passage is encouraging us to find the joy of living in the midst of life’s pain and disappointments. God wants us to keep on trusting him and praying in spite of the difficulties and disillusionment we often face. We must thank him for taking us through the darkness while we are still going through it.

Look for the silver lining. Find and believe in the blessings that are hidden in even the most difficult circumstances. God didn’t promise that life would be easy. He never said we wouldn’t experience bad things, hard times, or devastating circumstances. But he did say he would be with us and never forsake us and for that we can be thankful.

If I can believe that God loves me enough to send his only son to pay the death penalty for my sin, surely I can have faith that he has my best interest in mind no matter what circumstances I am experiencing. If nothing else, I can be thankful that one day my trials will end and I will spend eternity with the God who loves me more than I know or understand.

So join me in a renewed commitment to develop an attitude of gratitude and be thankful – today and everyday.


Curt November 30, 2009  

Great thoughts. It's easy to be grateful when things are good. But life is about good and bad, easy and difficult, abundance and scarcity, comfort and pain, joy and sorrow, gain and loss, growing and dying. To fully embrace all that life has to offer, we must drink deeply of the bitter and the sweet - and be grateful.

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