Thanks In, Not For


In everything give thanks;  for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

What could have motivated Horatio Spafford to pen the words to the mighty hymn “It Is Well with My Soul?” Before writing the hymn he had lost his only son in 1871, been financially ruined by the great Chicago fire of the same year, and then lost his four daughters at sea in 1873. His motivation was likely the truth of 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks.”

Many claim the verse is unrealistic: How could anyone give thanks for events like Spafford endured? But the verse says to give thanks in all things, not for all things. God expects no one to be thankful for tragedies that befall us in this life. But He does expect us to trust Him in the midst of such circumstances. In those difficult times, we can thank God that He will cause all things to work together for good in our life (Romans 8:28). While we grieve for those events and the losses incurred, we can give thanks even while in their midst.

Giving thanks when things are good requires enthusiasm, but giving thanks in hard times requires faith. If you are in the midst of difficulties, begin each of your days with a prayer of thanks.  It will make a difference.

Prayer without thanksgiving is like a bird without wings.
William Hendriksen

posted by rightthingtodo on November 27, 2010

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