“…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
It is so easy to be thankful. When I think of the wonderful family I was born into, the amazing wife and son I have been blessed with, faithful friends that walk with me, the great schools I have attended, the awesome churches I have served with, and the amazing experiences I have had along the way… there is just so much to be grateful for! Still, God’s Word reminds me to, “… give thanks in all circumstances…”
When I do think of the experiences I would rather forget, of people who haven’t exactly had my family’s best interest at heart and those that may have given me a proverbial black eye in ministry, I am thankful. Okay, learning to be thankful would be more accurate. Still, as I reflect on such times in my life it becomes apparent that these are the seasons from which I have truly grown in the Lord, closer to and more intimate with Him. Following such times I have become more sensitive to the hurts of others and learned some valuable lessons about the giving and receiving of God’s grace. While tempted to see only through the cloudy lens of my own painful experience, it is on the other side of such circumstances that I clearly see the loving hand of God patiently working on, in and even through me for the good of others and His glory.
Charles Finney said, “A state of mind that sees God in everything is evidence of growth in grace and a thankful heart.”
Servant leader, what are you thankful for today? Is your gratitude reserved only for the seasons of favor, blessing and those who have sung your praises? Can you see the hand of God moving even through the trying circumstances and difficult people who haven’t necessarily been on your side? Remember, a deeper walk with Christ will find you thanking God “… in all circumstances…;” not just for the experiences that play like a top-ten highlight reel of our life. While you are reflecting on all the things you are thankful for, make sure you are grateful for “all” things.