For Christ followers, in these days of uncertainty, mayhem and apprehension caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, perspective is a key to maintaining personal peace and confidence.
IN EVERY “THING” GIVE THANKS
With all the bad news swirling around, it is a good time for each of us to pause and reflect upon God’s goodness. Yes, it has been a season of crisis – – one bad “thing” after another it seems. Yet, through it all, there is reason to be thankful. Paul advises us: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV (All, unless noted).
GIVE THANKS IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE
IN GOOD TIMES…
The Apostle Paul here encourages us to give thanks for the good “things” that happen to us and for us. Thanking God for every blessing acknowledges that He is the source of every gift (James 1:17). The Bible says that we are to give thanks in every “thing”. The Living Bible renders 1 Thess. 5:18 this way: No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
…AND IN BAD TIMES
No matter what… blessings, tragedies, sicknesses, good health, riches, poverty, plagues, pestilence, natural disasters… whatever “things” happens to us, we are to give thanks to God!
How can one be thankful when bad things happen?
The human inclination is to become fearful, become depressed, ask “why me”, blame God, feel sorry for ourselves, become angry or panic. By contrast, David’s attitude was: I will bless the LORD at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. – Ps. 34:1. He vowed that at all times, no matter what “things” may happen, he would praise God.
In “every thing”? At all times? As a young Christian, I used to struggle to understand what the bible is telling us in this regard. How can one be thankful when bad things happen? It comes down to having confidence in God and trusting His Word. Paul’s promise to the Church in Romans 8:28 is: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. God can, will and does cause all things… ALL THINGS to result in good for His children who love Him and who have submitted to His will.
Think of Joseph, Jacob’s son and Abraham’s grandson. He was hated by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery by them. Yet, Jehovah God used all of those “things” to raise Joseph from that pit and from a prison, to a palace and to prominence in Egypt, so he could save his family, and the whole world from starvation (read Gen. 37-50). He told his brothers: You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. – Genesis 50:20.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul instructed the saints to: (Give) thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Eph. 5:20. In faith, we must remember that we serve a sovereign, all knowing, and all powerful God for whom nothing is impossible. That He loves us, and wants only good for us. So we can confidently give thanks for everything in anticipation of the good that will eventually result. In other words, because of the “all things” of Romans 8:28, we can give thanks for the “all things” of Ephesians 5:20.
IN EVERY “THING” DON’T WORRY – BUT PRAY WITH THANKSGIVING
These are worrisome times. However, the Word of God says… Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. – Phil. 4:6. We are to put aside worry and by faith, give Him thanks in every circumstance. Trusting that no “thing” is bigger than God, and that, sooner or later, He will use those “things” to bless you and others.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard (our) hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phil. 4:7. The Lord rewards us with supernatural peace of mind that is protected from anxiety. An unshakable peace that no “thing” that happens is this world can take away. That no “thing” can separate you from God’s love (read Romans 8:35-39).
My prayer for you is that this time of world health crisis finds you with an attitude of gratitude in the midst of all the “things” going on in your life – the good and the bad… confident that God is in full control, making all “things” work for your good.