“In everything give thanks…”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
The month of November is already ticking down with just over two weeks until Thanksgiving. Many friends I know are keeping a thanks journal by writing down something they are thankful for every day of the month. Of course all of us have enough we can give thanks for each and every day of our lives. How about waking up every morning? All of us can be thankful for each and every day the Lord gives us on this earth.
The idea of giving thanks in everything doesn’t mean that we are glad for the bad things that happen to us. I think it is giving thanks for the Lord’s presence and comfort despite what is going on around us. Let me put it this way; has there ever been a time when you felt peace and comfortfrom the Lord during a difficult time? Many times I felt this, but only during those times when I put myself completely in the Lord’s hands.
Submitting my will to the Lord’s will didn’t change the circumstances, but it allowed me to go through some difficult situations.
It is interesting to look at the letter that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. He warned that things could happen suddenly, even the coming of the Lord “as a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). He went on to tell them to be watching and preparing themselves for what might happen.
Do we prepare for possible calamities? I always heard that you should keep your car full of gas, but what about keeping ourselves in the Word of God? I know from experience it can help you handle problems that come along.
How about prayer? In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Paul says to “Pray without ceasing”. Now this doesn’t mean you are praying all the time, but that a prayer is a breath away at all times. Ever prayed while driving a car or washing dishes? I heard about a pastor’s wife with small children who said her best prayer time was when she was vacuuming the carpet. Of course there is always silent prayer when you aren’t able to pray out loud.
By staying close to the Lord you will be able to find the good things in the midst of the bad. Like it says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. I found from experience how I gained comfort during a rough time from watching others go through similar circumstances. I watched many Christians in my time take a bad situation and turn it into praise for the Lord.
Giving thanks to the Lord is a choice. It is easy to turn bitter when your life is upside down, but it is hard on your health. Instead, try each day to find something to be thankful for. Don’t be thankful just one day, but each and every day for the rest of your life.
Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at: