During this period of anxiety and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, global warming, and other catastrophes – feeling thankful is the last thing on anyone’s mind!  Yet the Bible teaches that one should “give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thess. 5:18a, ESV)


Why does it matter for us to be thankful, especially when we go through a difficult time?   Being thankful is what distinguishes us from the rest of humanity. It is what separates God’s people from the world.


Be thankful in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus Christ.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT


God did not tell us to give thanks “for” all circumstances – rather, to give thanks “in” all circumstances. He does not expect us to be thankful for our sickness and suffering. Which person, in his right mind, would be thankful that he has cancer?  Christians are not masochists or people that idolize pain or boast about their suffering.


Rather, God expects us to be thankful in the midst of our sickness and suffering. This is because there is no situation in which God is not present or He cannot penetrate with His grace.  The Bible says that He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom.8:28). We can learn to trust God for something good to come out of our difficult circumstances. After all, God is still in control and that He always have our best interest at heart.


To be thankful even in times of difficulty doesn’t mean to deny that there’s a problem.  Rather, it’s learning to see those situations from God’s perspective and believing that God is still in control and knows what He is doing.


It is easy to be thankful when everything is fine. How thankful are we to God when times are difficult, and everything seems to be going wrong? No matter what we face in life, may God help us to be thankful for His unfailing love and faithfulness toward us!


Thank You Lord; For the victory those trials bring

In surrender of everything; Life is so worthwhile

And I thank You Lord

That when everything put in place

Out in front I can see Your face; And it's there You belong

~Dan Burgess~