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Richard Roberts

In his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul wrote, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Have you heard about the woman who said, “I always feel the worst when I feel the best because I know how bad I’m going to feel when I start feeling bad again?” Many of us are like that woman. We focus on what we don’t have or what we need, rather than give thanks for what we do have and for God, our Source.

I recently heard a story about a man who came home from work exhausted. Nothing had gone right for him during the day. His wife met him at the door and he could hear his children screaming in the background. He said to her, “Honey, if you can’t say something positive to me, just don’t talk. Everything was negative all day. Nothing happened except bad, bad, bad, and then bad went to worse.”

She replied, “All right. Let me tell you, then, that three of your four children did not break a leg today.”

The apostle Paul knew about adversity. He knew that bad things sometimes happen to good people. He had been through stonings, beatings, storms, sickness, public outcries, and all kinds of opposition. And yet, he says, “In all things, give thanks.”

Note that we are not giving thanks for the bad things that happen. Rather, we are choosing to give thanks in all the circumstances of life, as a statement of faith, thanking God for the good and trusting Him to turn things for our good. Our response to God is always to be one of thanksgiving for who God is and what God has provided for us. As the apostle Paul says, “This is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”