When to Give Thanks

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November is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving. Normally, this holiday reminds us, at least for a day, to give thanks. But our minds tend to focus on the holiday meal, or our Christmas list as we get ready for Black Friday shopping. We quickly forget to stop and give thanks.

Believe it or not, the Bible instructs us to give thanks always. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Wait- in ALL circumstances? What does that mean? For many of us, we do not thank God for the good things that happen to us. When we get a job or a promotion we think “Wow! I am good, my hard work has paid off!” We sometimes never consider offering thanks to God for playing any role in our success.

And if that’s the case, what about when we do not get the job, break up with our boyfriend, lose our phone or fail a test? Why would we thank God for our failures? Have you ever thought that God was trying to tell you something- protecting you from a bad work environment, encouraging you to lean on Him, revealing your poor study habits to you before you attempt harder classes, or sparing you the heart ache from the bad relationship? It is worth it to whisper a word of “thanks” to God in ALL circumstances because God loves you and cares about you even when you do not understand what is going on.

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