Sometimes I find myself reluctantly directing the readers of my blog to 1 Thessalonians 5:18 during gratitude month (November). In fact, I just did it again yesterday.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Giving thanks in all circumstances is not easy.
I have friends reading this blog who are battling cancer.
Are they supposed to be thankful?
I have friends reading this blog who’ve lost their job because of the COVID pandemic. Is God telling them to give Him thanks for losing their job?
I have friends reading this blog who have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Are they to give thanks to God for this uncertainty?
My heart just dropped to my stomach yesterday morning when I read that the Ivy League canceled all winter sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being a former college basketball player and having two kids play basketball in the Ivy League . . . What the heck, God? You’re telling me I’m supposed to give thanks?
Way back on February 3, 1986, our second son was born. I was pumped as I always wanted two sons. Shortly after his birth, Jordan scored a nine on his APGAR assessment, which meant all systems were intact, and he was healthy.
Within a few hours, he was fighting for his life. Something was going on in his lungs and his body was being deprived of oxygen.
For a couple of weeks, it was touch and go.
Would he make it?
The damage had been done. Oxygen deprivation had damaged his brain.
Lori and I now had a special needs son.
My life quickly spiraled out of control as I already was battling a substance abuse disorder when Jordan was born, and I found myself unable to take enough pills to numb the pain that had just entered my life.
Luckily I sought help for my addiction problem, and through that journey, my entire perspective about life changed.
Along with that perspective change came a daily prayer where I thanked God for giving us Jordan. I’ve never stopped praying that prayer. God turned that “pain” I was trying to numb into a blessing that would impact the world.
Whatever you are facing . . . thank Him.
Your perception of the world will change.
You begin seeing things from His perspective.
Your impact will expand proportionately.
I always write from experience.
When reading 1 Thessalonians 5:18, it’s important to also read before and after. Below is 1 Thessalonians 5:17-22.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everyting that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.