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Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Think about the last time you felt grateful. Was it when someone presented you with a thoughtful gift? Was it after you shared a meal with a close friend? It is easy to be grateful for those things. However, when was the last time you were thankful for something not so wonderful – like a job loss or a heartbreaking diagnosis?

It can be very difficult to give thanks in the midst of tough times, especially when we can’t see the purpose behind them. In his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul encouraged believers to “rejoice always” and to “give thanks in all circumstances.” It is important to note that he didn’t say, “give thanks for all circumstances.” God is not asking you to thank Him for the bad things that happen to you, but He does want you to praise Him for what He is teaching you as you face the less-than-ideal parts of life.

Your Heavenly Father is much more interested in who you are becoming than what you are doing. As followers of Jesus, our goal in life is to be like Christ. With that goal in mind, we can begin to see more clearly how God can use trials and difficulties to conform us to the likeness of His Son.

Even when you have unanswered questions or a lack of understanding, you can praise God that you are in process. You can thank Him for the plan and purpose He has for your life. You can rejoice in knowing, He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.(Romans 8:28) You can definitely be grateful for that! 

4 Comments

  1. David Wilson Edmonston on February 11, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    Yes and Amen
    Great message of encouragement.
    What struck me as I had only read the title was the number of times I have been told just this week to check my religion at the door to the marketplace.
    How grateful I am that God Provides circumstances to witness along the way.
    Never shrink back from what the Lord has spoken to you personally and stay on His path.
    Keep walking with the Lord! Loiter as deemed necessary, Amen.

  2. Lorene O. Bowles on February 11, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    A beautiful message, and a great comment right before mine.

    Thank you for blessings

  3. James W Howell on February 11, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    God in his infinite wisdom knows what we need before We ask, So We must wait on The LORD’S Will and Trust God Completely. Even when it seems so bleak !

  4. Vanequa on February 14, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Amen

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