Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. —1 THESSALONIANS 5:18
Giving thanks in all circumstances is not easy! In fact, it is a skill that takes time and practice to master. The curious thing is, thankfulness can only truly be mastered through adverse circumstances.
You see, it is easy to be thankful when life unfolds the way we want it to, when others do things the way we want them to and when all goes according to planned. It is altogether another skill to be thankful when things don’t turn out as planned, when in fact, nothing is going according to our liking, when life dishes out more than we bargained for and then rains on our parade.
It is through moments of trail and difficulty that we realize that thankfulness is a decision. It is an act of our will, an opportunity to master and direct our feelings and to submit to God’s sovereignty
The mere fact that the Apostle Paul directs us to be thankful in ALL circumstances lets us know that there will be adverse circumstances in our lives. Moments when thankfulness is not naturally our first choice of response. It is then that he encourages us, invites us, even calls us to a higher level, to choose thankfulness even in those difficult times. By directing us to be happy in ALL circumstances, Paul also eludes to the fact that thankfulness is possible.
In Philipians 4:11-13 Paul states, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through (Christ) who strengthens me.”