Give Thanks in All Circumstances
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to thank God for our blessings. Many of us take for granted our good fortune, our good health and our freedom. Paul urges us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thessalonians. 5:18 NIV) Give thanks even when we’re unhappy? What a revolutionary idea. Paul lives this out and so do other remarkable Christians. If you give thanks in all circumstances this means you will count your blessings every day!
Benjamin Weir, a missionary, was imprisoned for 16 months in Lebanon under terrible conditions in 1984-85. In an interview immediately after his release, reporters asked how he spent his time; how did he cope with boredom and despair? His answer stunned the reporters. He said simply, “Counting my blessings.” He went on to say: “Some days I got to take a shower. Sometimes there were some vegetables in my food. And I could always be thankful for the love of my family.”
We can understand the astonishment of the reporters. Most of us fail to count our blessings in the midst of abundance. We relax in our comfortable homes. We feast daily on plenty of food. We enjoy freedom. Friends and family surround us. We take our blessings for granted much of the time. Most of us spend part of each day, week or month complaining, feeling depressed, forlorn, or angry about some circumstance we’re facing that isn’t to our liking. Usually minor annoyances are the cause of our angst.
Learn to Count Your Blessings
We need to thank God for our blessings daily. We need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude even when we’re down. When we consistently count our blessings we notice God’s abundant provision for us. Counting our blessings brings us closer to Him. It helps us remember God’s in charge. It helps us put our trust completely in Him.
This doesn’t mean we never suffer or feel depressed. When we face a major crisis or tragedy, we will grieve. We may go through more tears and sorrow than we’ve ever known before. But in the midst of this we can also count our blessings. We can be thankful for tears that help us express our pain. We can look for and be thankful for a lesson we’re learning from the pain we’re going through.
This year we have been singing the Doxology before meals in addition to saying grace. This lifts our spirits out of the mundane tasks or issues of the day and reminds us to count our blessings. Here are the words in case you need them. Sing along with us!
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
praise Him, all creatures here below;
praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Singing the doxology at every meal can help us establish an attitude of gratitude. This Thanksgiving Day let’s count our blessings.
“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This article was originally published in my Faith Notes blog.