give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thes. 5:18 (NIV)
What are you thankful for? During this holiday season this is probably the most asked question. Perhaps you’ve gone through a great deal of struggles this year and the bad seems to be outweighing the good. Perhaps others will try to help you to see the glass half full but it may still appear to be half empty from your perspective. Be prepared, feelings of guilt may even rear its ugly head as a result.
As we allow the main focus to be the circumstances, it’s similar to traveling through life on a rollercoaster ride. One day we are up, the other day we are down. The truth of the matter is that the enemy preys on emotions that are swayed by our life encounters. He uses this tactic to slow us down, distract us and eventually render us completely ineffective.
One of the most important words in the above mentioned verse is the preposition. We are instructed to give thanks “in” all circumstances. The preposition used is not “for” thus, the focus is not the circumstance. Thankfulness is a choice that we make to adhere to a command given by God, regardless of what is going on around us. We don’t have to understand or like what we’re going through, we simply must trust that God is still God who is immensely large and in charge.
Lord, thank You for the gentle reminder that maintaining a posture of thankfulness is not based on our ever changing circumstances. Amidst the storms of life, thanks for being the firm anchor that keeps me grounded and is so worthy of my praise and thanksgiving.