Be Thankful In All Circumstances (By Jon Perkins)

It’s that time of year for families and friends to gather around the table and eat so much food, watch football, play games, and tell stories of previous Thanksgiving disasters. Okay, maybe that last part is just my family.
Thanksgiving usually marks the time of year when you can walk outside and immediately wonder where the fall went and wondering why winter is here. People typically are nicer the week of Thanksgiving. Maybe it’s because we are reminded to count the blessings in our lives. Or maybe it’s the calm before the storm of the busy Christmas season.
We all know that Thanksgiving should last more than just one day in November. In fact, the First Thanksgiving lasted 3 days! For the Christian, Thanksgiving is a lifestyle, or better yet it should be a continual place in our mind. Thanksgiving should be more of our spirit than just the season.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Paul encourages us that regardless of what we walk through, we should be “thankful.” Easier said than done. If you are anything like me, sometimes being “thankful” becomes a “fake it till you make it” strategy. There are many instances where “thankful” isn’t our first response. It takes work, prayer, and reliance on the Holy Spirit to be “thankful” when life gets hard. Personally, I tend to see what is wrong in the situation, person, or activity. The struggle, if you are like this as well, is we become disconnected from others, and more importantly disconnected from God.
You and I both never want to be disconnected from God even for a moment, and that is why Paul is encouraging us to “be thankful in all circumstances.” Look at the end of the verse: “for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus”.
As believers we are to “be thankful” because that is God’s will for our lives. If we are thankful through all successes and failures, we set the example for others to follow, and that could very well lead them to want to know why you are always thankful.
This Thanksgiving season, I encourage you as well as challenge you to be thankful not because of what you have that others can see, but to be thankful so that others will want to know what you have that they cannot see.