Giving Thanks is Harder in the Storm
I can easily be happy and thankful to God when everything is going the way I think it should. Giving thanks is harder in the storm when nothing makes sense and everything looks dark and foreboding. However, God is worthy of my praise and thanksgiving at all times regardless of what I see or how I feel. I remind myself that I see a very small piece of the picture, but God sees everything from the beginning to the end of time. He is God, and I am not. I serve Him, not the other way around.
My love for God, my faith and trust in Him, and my worship of Him do not hinge on election results or anything else. I will praise Him in the storm. He is still God, will always be God and in control, and for that I’m thankful.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). The key word in this verse is “in.” It does not say “for” all circumstances, and there’s a big difference. I’m not thankful for the current political environment or the pandemic, but I can be thankful in it all. Why? Because my eyes are on Jesus, not what is happening in the world or whatever is knocking on my doorstep. A daily intake of His Word encourages me every day to stay focused on Him.
Actually, there is more to this verse than this verse. The two preceding verses complete the sentence. “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). In other words, rejoice always in all circumstances, and pray continually in all circumstances. And then, give thanks in all circumstances. All three directives are God’s will for me in Christ Jesus. Honestly, I need to do a better job in rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks in this crazy time in which I live.
Job admonishes us to praise the name of the Lord in Job 1:21. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” That’s hard to do in perilous times (2 Tim. 3:1) but still doable. Let’s look at it this way. The Lord gives joy and peace and takes away pain and sorrow. He gives forgiveness and hope and takes away sin and discouragement. The Lord gives strength and grace and takes away anxiety and fear. May we choose to be thankful today. Giving thanks is harder in the storm, but necessary. And by the way, storms don’t last forever.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Col. 3:15).