In all Circumstances

the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It is important to draw a distinction between giving thanks in the circumstances and not for the circumstances;

Here is an example, I think of one of the worst experiences in my life. I was not thankful for the experience. It was painful, devastating, it hurt, and the hurt still lingers after 15 years; in fact, the hurt will always linger. I am not thankful for that event.

To me, giving thanks in all circumstances means that while I was going through that experience, I could look around, and discover many wonderful things to be thankful for.

Examples include the friends who called and supported us, thankful for the phone calls, text messages, and gifts. This is what thankful in all circumstances means to me. I am not thankful for the circumstances, but I can look for support to help me make it through the circumstances. To help to mourn, grieve, and heal.

In his book, Man’s search for meaning, Victor Frankel,  while in a Nazi Concentration camp, stated that he would not give ownership of his mind to the Germans who held him captive.

There is a lesson in that for us today. Each one of us faces challenging and difficult situations in our day-to-day. Thanks to our phones, TVs, car radios, computers, other people, we are bombarded daily with difficult circumstances.

The author John Eldridge says that our souls aren’t meant to move at the pace of a cell phone. Look around, take some time today, be thankful for one thing outside of your current circumstances. Pause, take in a deep breath, then list five things that you have. Then move forward.

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