I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Give thanks in ALL circumstances? Really? You may be asking yourself, “Am I supposed to give thanks even when I’m dealing with a terminal illness? In the middle of my broken marriage? Give thanks when I’m wondering how I am going to pay my bills?”
Yes, yes, and yes!
Notice the Scripture does NOT say, “Give thanks FOR all circumstances.” It says, “Give thanks IN all circumstances.” See the difference? In the middle of chaos or calm, you can still give thanks. Sometimes giving thanks is a sacrifice, but He is pleased when we offer Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
We don’t always feel thankful, do we? Thankfulness is a decision–a decision we must be intentional about making every single day. I believe thankfulness keeps our hearts supple and pliable as the Holy Spirit does the work of transforming us into His likeness. Thankfulness magnifies Who God is! We make Him famous when we give Him the thanks He deserves.
The rest of I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” What is God’s will? Are my difficult circumstances always God’s will? Not necessarily. But God’s will IS that we give thanks IN the circumstances. Thankfulness is always God’s will!
Romans 1:21 tells us that when people do not acknowledge God or give Him the thanks due His name, their thinking becomes futile and their hearts are darkened. When we withhold thanks from Him, we become fruitless, pointless and ineffective. When we don’t have a heart full of thanksgiving, we are susceptible to walking in darkness.
If God had only saved us, that would be enough, wouldn’t it?! There is a song the Jewish people sing during Passover. It’s called, “Dayenu” (“It would have been enough!”)! During the Passover, the rabbi recites the miraculous intervention in the lives of the Israelites while they were in bondage to the Egyptians. The people respond with, “Dayenu!” Here are a few stanzas of the song:
- If He had brought us out of Egypt, “Dayenu!”
- If He had executed justice upon the Egyptians, “Dayenu!”
- If He had executed justice upon their gods, “Dayenu!”
- If He had slain their first-born, “Dayenu!”
- If He had split the sea for us, “Dayenu!”
- If He had led us through on dry land, “Dayenu!”
- If He had drowned our oppressors, “Dayenu!”
- If He had provided for our needs in the wilderness for 40 years, “Dayenu!”
- If He had fed us manna, “Dayenu!”
Truly, saving our souls from eternal damnation would have been enough! I started my own “Dayenu” below:
- If He had created me and gave me life…”Dayenu!”
- If He had given me my husband but not any children…”Dayenu!”
- If He had given me my boys but did not choose to give me a girl…”Dayenu!”
- If He had allowed us to rent a house and not to buy one…”Dayenu!”
Write out your own personal “Dayenu” song! Be filled with Thanksgiving and remember all His blessings as you enjoy your Thanksgiving Day!