1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Honestly, this is one of the hardest verses in the Bible to exercise. This ranks right up there with the concept of doing good to our enemies. God commands us to give thanks “in” every thing. The focus of our thanks is that through each and every circumstance we are to be both thankful and give thanks. I personally believe the only way this happens is through connecting this passage with Psalm 34:3. The text tell us to magnify the Lord and exalt his name. We have no control over our circumstances, but we have complete control over what we magnify in and throughout those circumstances.
Let me be very clear by saying I have failed miserably at this. I have done more griping and complaining about what God has allowed or authored in my life than I have been thankful. I find myself in a state of repentance this morning, realizing that I have failed to be thankful within my circumstance. I have begged to want out of my circumstances, but I have failed to thank God in my circumstances.
I also think we misread this verse. It says that we should give thanks “in” everything not “for” everything. Look at things this way: It is not that God says we have to give thanks for cancer, but He does teach us that we can be thankful while we are in the fight against cancer. We do not have to be thankful for Covid-19 (I will say God has used it greatly in my life), but we can be thankful while we are going through this season. Our thanksgiving should never be circumstantial. Our thanksgiving must always be directed at the Lord. We can give thanks in every situation without having to give thanks for every situation.
Even in the most miserable of circumstances we can be thankful for our salvation, our eternity, and our Heavenly Father. If the Lord’s presence in our life was all we had, would it be enough for us to give thanks?