Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all cir-cumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Giving thanks is critical in any culture. An attitude of gratitude is very much appreciated by everyone. Jesus modeled thankfulness when he gave thanks for some bread and fish before he fed five thousand people (John 6:11). Jesus looked beyond the two fish and five loaves to the ultimate giver. Jesus gave thanks to acknowledge the giver of all good gifts, the one who blesses the earth each day.
The Hiding Place tells the story of Corrie and Betsie ten Boom. These sisters spent time in a German concentration camp because they were caught hiding Jews during World War II. Their barracks was crammed with women, the place smelled horrible, and they were tormented by biting fleas. Corrie was appalled, and she genuinely struggled to see God’s goodness in this situation. But Betsie urged the reminder to “give thanks in all circumstances,” and Corrie grudgingly did so. Later they learned that the officers avoided that barracks because of the flea infestation, and that gave the women freedom to read their Bible together with the other prisoners and to pray without interruption.
Do you give thanks in, though not necessarily for, all circumstances? God can make use of even the worst situations to bring about good things (see Romans 8:28).
Father, we honor you as the ultimate provider for our needs. Help us see how we can give thanks in all circum-stances, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
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