1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

 
 
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Lay Aside the weight of thanklessness

“Heavenly Father, please let me know your will. I really need to know what you want me to do about . . .”

This is my will for you: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

“Thank you, Lord, for this reminder. I really do need to be more thankful — but getting back to my request, I’m not sure what you want me to do about . . .”

I want you to “give thanks in all circumstances.”

“I know, Lord, I know. That’s important and I can see where I have neglected that. But thankfulness is sort of a constant need, isn’t it? I mean, everyone needs be more thankful, right? Seriously, this is urgent, and I don’t have clarity from you. I need your direction. What do you want me to do?”

I am being serious and specific. I want you to “give thanks in all circumstances,” and right now, in this particular circumstance.

[Speechless exasperation]

Until you learn to “give thanks in all circumstances,” much of my will for you will be veiled. I have guiding and providing graces you can’t see now because of your ingratitude. Be faithful to obey my revealed will for you, and I will be faithful to guide (Psalm 32:8) and provide (Philippians 4:19) for you.

In view of other things in our lives that feel like urgent priorities, we might not think that “[giving] thanks in all circumstances” ranks high enough. We might be tempted to think that thankfulness is sort of like a luxury option in the car of the Christian faith — it’s a nice feature, but we can drive fine without it. That’s a huge mistake. Thankfulness is not a luxury option; it’s part of our car’s engine. The car of faith doesn’t work right without it.

Therefore, it is altogether possible that God’s answer to our prayers for guidance and provision might actually be, “give thanks in all circumstances.”

That may not be our greatest felt need, but it may be our greatest real need right now. And if so, God’s perhaps frustrating answer is a great, healing mercy to us.

Thanklessness is a spiritually unhealthy weight that slows many of us down in the race of faith, more than we might know (Hebrews 12:1). God has more guiding and providing graces for us that we will discover if we lay it aside and run with thankful joy.

How do we do this? We simply begin by obeying God’s simple, health-giving command: “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

- Jon Bloom


The Story of Ian and Larissa


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