Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)
Does your heart ever feel like a jar full of rocks? Do you try to tie a pretty bow on your life hoping that no one will notice your stony heart? That’s often the way I push through life. I collect rocks. Rocks of resentment, anger, disappointment, discouragement and doubt. They pile up at the bottom of my heart, crowding out faith, love, hope and joy. I feel grumpy and find it hard to give thanks in all circumstances.
So I attempt to ignore the rocks, tie a pretty bow on the outside and smile with gritted teeth. Thank you for winter, for my comfy chair, for my dog, for my family, for snow, for the subzero temperatures, for warm socks, for coffee. It helps a little.
But how to give thanks for suffering, sickness and stones of regret and worry and disillusionment and cynicism. Not so much.
Then I remember something has been planted in my heart. Something supernatural and full of hope.
A perennial bulb of faith. Faith that knows God holds the universe together. I can hold God responsible for my ups and my downs. He is capable of handling my fears, my anxieties, my delusions and my depressions. He is the one I have to thank for my life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
He knows that I love words and finding definition for life. I never really thought about how “thank” means “to hold responsible.” But it makes so much sense. I cannot thank God in all circumstances, if I believe that I am responsible for all circumstances. Only the Creator has control of all circumstances. (Yes, I’m responsible for my choices and actions, but ultimately, one Greater than me holds it all. And that’s a huge relief!)
One little word can change my attitude. Digging deeper into the roots of the word, in Latin, “thank” comes from tongere: “to know.”
We can thank God because we KNOW Him! We know He loves us and has our best interest at heart.
Another interesting connection to thankfulness or being grateful is contentment. When one is grateful, she has been “afforded pleasure or contentment”. When one practices gratefulness, it can be because of “comforts supplied” or “discomforts alleviated.” Once again God meets me in the dictionary.
Thanks be to God! He is responsible and trustworthy!
How do you thank God in ALL circumstances?
Linking with Soli Deo Gloria Party