God calls us to give thanks even in the midst of our trials.
1 Thessalonians 5.18 (NIV) “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.”
It is the Eve of Thanksgiving. Lisa is doing her best to sit upright in a hospital bed. She has been hospitalized for the past few days. What was supposed to a be routine check-up became a medical emergency. Before she could process the news, she had to be hurried to the operating room. The doctors discovered further complications a few hours later, and she needed to return to the operating room. It has been almost a week, and she seems to be no closer to finding a path forward. Lisa is experiencing pain, fear, and sadness. She can no longer hold in the tears.
You or a loved one may be facing a health crisis like Lisa’s, uncertain of what lies ahead. It may be the case of a recent community tragedy, a relationship on the rocks, or a sudden loss of a job. Is God asking too much when He calls us to be thankful even in the midst of our trials? In those moments, thankfulness is not the first sentiment that crosses our minds. As life’s trials come our way, we are prone to experience fear, worry, and despair. However, I believe that God still calls us to give thanks to Him even in those circumstances that break our hearts.
Being thankful does not mean ignoring painful realities. It means bringing our trials to a God who loves us and sent His Son to be our Savior (Susan Lutz). As we read in Scripture, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”(Matthew 11.28) As we give thanks to God, we exchange life’s troubles for God’s peace, our sorrows for His comfort, and our shortcomings for His grace. When God is the reason for our thanksgiving, we can do so regardless of what challenges come our way.
We give thanks for the precious life we have received from You, our families and friends, and each person we have been blessed to meet. We also give thanks for life’s many blessings, especially the ones we are prone to take for granted at times. We pray that You would bless us with the serenity to give thanks to You in all circumstances. Even in the midst of severe hardships, we pray that we would always consider You worthy of our praise.
In Jesus’ name we pray,