“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
Do you ever get frustrated when you’re in a really hard situation or explaining what you went through such as your abuse, and someone tells you that you should be thankful for it?
I had a really hard time with this for a long time. It took me lots of soul searching and prayer to understand what this verse means. It does not mean give thanks for what happened but in your circumstances.
As an educator I tend to look specifically at the exact words which are used. To give thanks for your circumstances would mean to give thanks for being sexually abused or raped. But to give thanks in all circumstances, means that you can be thankful for the things God has given you despite the evil you have endured. What does this look like?
I can be thankful that God sent his Son Jesus to die for me and when I believe this and accept Jesus and what He did for me, I have the amazing hope of an eternity in heaven. A place where there will be no more crying and no more pain.
I can be thankful for this no matter what happens. It does not mean I am thankful for what is happening, but I am thankful in the circumstance. I can still be thankful for all God has done, but not necessarily thankful for what I’ve endured in this evil and sinful world.
So, I encourage you, to consider what you’ve gone through and or what you are going through, but list the things for which you are thankful for despite what you are dealing with at the moment. There were days I had to start with the fact that I had running water and inside plumbing and a refrigerator which ran.
My thankfulness has increased to include so much more than just those basics, as I see God continuing to provide and bless me even though I don’t deserve it. So, we are not called to be thankful for what happened to us which was sinful and evil, but we are called to be thankful during the times of distress and trouble because of what God has provided for us to get through those times.
Along with the fact He has ultimately provided us the amazing hope of an eternity where there will be no more evil, no more crying, and no more pain-forever. There is no end. This is the hope Jesus brings which allows us to be give thanks in all circumstances, but not for all circumstances.
I pray you are able to do this, and find the true hope in Jesus.
Blessings to you as you continue to heal and Happy Thanksgiving!
© 2022 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.