“Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
It is real easy to thank God for all the good things in our lives, the things that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, the things that give us pleasure. As a matter of fact, that is what we ask for, and thank God for, in our prayers, right? How many people do we know that ask for, and are grateful for, physical, emotional, and financial hard times?
In today’s verse, however, God, through the Apostle Paul, teaches us Christians to do something extraordinary, something that’s so far outside our human nature that we turn away from it and don’t even want to consider it as an option. But this happens because we don’t understand this verse. So, let’s look at it, break it down, and see if we can makes some sense of it.
- “Give thanks in everything,” – Yes, God wants us to be as thankful in our bad times as we are in our good times; in our time of poverty as we would be in our time of abundance; in our time of sickness, as we would be in our time of good health; in our time of brokenness, as we would be in our time of wholeness. This is what’s so hard for us because in our finite minds, it doesn’t make sense to us. But God has a reason for it.
- “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – As Christians, we can give thanks to God for the bad as well as the good because we know that, no matter the severity of our circumstances, it is only temporary. No matter how much time we spend here on earth, when we die and go to heaven, we will no longer have any kind of suffering. no more disease, no more hunger, no more thirst, no more poverty, no more killing, no more pain, or sorrow, or evil of any kind. Our bodies will be perfected and suitable to be before the Lord, our Lord and Creator. THIS IS THE REASON TO BE THANKFUL AND HOPEFUL!
Jesus Himself said,
“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also (John 14:1-3).”
God, through the Apostle John, said,
“Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)