In All Things Give Thanks

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It’s easy to complain and look for the negative. Sometimes, we get so accustomed to complaining that it simply becomes a habit. However, God’s Word tells us to give thanks in all circumstances.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – Thessalonians 5:16-18

Wow. That’s a tall order.

The truth is, however, when you think about it, there is probably something to be thankful for in all circumstances. My parents were divorced and both remarried when I was just a toddler. Divorce is not God’s perfect plan and I would have enjoyed growing up in an intact home. However, if my parents hadn’t divorced, I would never have known my second dad. My step-dad was a good man and I know he loved me. And, I loved him.

He died of cancer in 2001. This was not the answer to our prayers. However, he was saved a few months before he passed away. That was a huge prayer answered. He touched many lives in the short time he was a Christian. I’m thankful for that, too. I am thankful that he is in heaven, whole and healthy.

I remember hearing a story in church when I was a young teenager. It was about some Christian women who were thrown into prison, persecuted for their faith. I don’t remember the time period or the details. I just remember that, according to the story, there were fleas that tormented these women. They could find nothing to be about being in a dank, dark, prison cell, covered in fleas to be thankful for, but they gave thanks anyway.

It turns out that the guards hated the fleas, so they only came to where the women were when they just had to, leaving the women free to talk openly about their faith, to pray and, generally, to be safe in an otherwise unsafe situation.

Can you imagine how your outlook on life would change, if you chose to be thankful in all situations? If you chose not to allow your circumstances to determine your attitude, but rather your attitude to determine your circumstances?

We don’t always understand God’s plan, but we can rest in the knowledge that He loves us and has a plan for our lives. And, we can look for the good in our circumstances and thank God, even when there may not appear to be much for which to be thankful.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. In ALL things give thanks. My mom dies 2 and half years ago after about 6 years of declining health and illness. While I miss my mom and wish things were different I am VERY thankful for all the things it wasn’t – hard decisions we were spared, devastating financial problems that we were spared, and so much much more. Even, perhaps especially, in our darkest and loneliest hour – there is SO much to be thankful for. Thank YOU for the reminder and for continued encouragement.

  2. The story about the fleas comes from Corrie Ten Boom’s time in a concentration camp. I love her testimony and books!

    AND OUCH for stepping on my toes about giving thanks in ALL things. ;o)

  3. I was vaguely thinking that the flea story had to do with Nazi Germany, but was too unsure to say that it was. Glad to know I was on the right track.

    Amy, I’m sorry for your family’s loss. While it becomes something that you learn to live with, you never quit missing the loved ones who have gone before, do you? It always seems to inadequate to simply say that you miss them…but you do.

    My stepdad really loved Christmas. He’s always on my mind a lot this time of year.

  4. Hmm, interesting stuff to think about ..

    I used to struggle with that. It seemed like I was supposed to say, “Gee, thanks, God!” even when things were horrible. And it felt like I was being sarcastic. (I probably was.)

    Now,I realize that giving thanks in all things means, for me, knowing that God allows terrible things to happen sometimes because He has a greater good that can come from it … and we just need to trust in that He will lead us on the path of righteousness if we just quit griping and follow along in trust, like a toddler with her hand in Daddy’s. And there is, of course, a lot of thanks to say when Life is good, too.

    Years ago, I kept a gratitude journal in which every night I wrote what I was grateful for. The first week weeks were easy, but then I had to stop always writing the same four things. I challenged myself to find NEW things, even the smaller, hardly seen things.

    This post was a reminder that I should try and do that again.

    God is so very good, and He blesses us sometimes with enormous, knee-shaking miracles … and sometimes, He just gives us comfort and peace during affliction.

    Thanks for reminding me to be thankful. : )

  5. What a great reminder!! Sorry I haven’t been around for the Weekly Wrap-up the last couple of weeks! I enjoy it, but I’ve been too busy on Fridays and weekends to post! I hope that all is well…have a wonderful week!

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