Give Thanks In All Circumstances

Really?  This is what Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica in his first letter (5:18).  It is part of a rather incredible triad of amazing “really?” verses.  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  So, yes, really!

This morning as Jenny and I were praying, I was inclined to ask the Lord for help with this very thing – to give thanks in all circumstances.  And then it hit me how absolutely radical that truth is.  It is God’s will for me in Christ that I should always be thankful – always!  And then I was further inclined to consider the greatness of such a Gospel, such a truth, such a reality and beckoning that would merit just such a life.  The greatness of the reality that God has accomplished for His children in Jesus Christ, that is, salvation, and the hope of eternal glory is of such a nature that He can without exception call us to thanksgiving in all circumstances!

You and I both have experienced and can imagine some bleak circumstances – I will not number them here, but only mention such to emphasize the overwhelming nature of the Christian reality.  Conversely, we have experienced and can imagine some blissful circumstances – should we be thankful to God any more or less?  I don’t think so.  For no matter the direction of life’s windy circumstances, our God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and what He has accomplished and is applying by the Holy Spirit, and the hope of victory now, holiness now, and of life eternal are unchanging, immovable, and thus, the Christian reality is not only the true reality, but by virtue of its truthfulness, the only and greatest one.  And it is so great, our God and His purpose so great, that we can with all sincerity “give thanks in all circumstances.”

Consider it brothers and sisters, and glory in its application.  Consider it friends yet unbelieving, for it is the hope of glory, streaming down from God in Jesus Christ – the hope you do not know, the anchor that you do not have.  But I pray even now that God will grant it to you in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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