I was thinking about this verse and what it means today. I was noticing that it does not say be happy in all circumstances, but it says be thankful. Many people seem to put them together as one in the same. I believe however that we can be thankful to God in all circumstances even if we are not happy about them. There have been many times that I've seen this play out in my life.
Years ago when my husband and I couldn't conceive, and then we did only to loose our babies over and over again I was far from happy. I was heart broken. I remember after our second miscarriage my arms feeling overwhelmingly empty. I desired a baby more than any other thing and my chest burned with the pain of crying for so long. Yet in that moment I knew I could thank God. I thanked him that my baby was safe in his arms. I thanked him that he could see what I could not and that I could trust him. I thanked him for his promises and for salvation. I had to pray without ceasing asking God for comfort, and strength. He provided those. I was not happy. I did not say thank you for taking my baby and leaving me to feel empty. I know he did not expect that of me.
Currently it seems that daily we hear about another family member or friend going through hard times. Biopsy, surgeries, unknown tumors, financial problems, the list goes on. I know I could feel overwhelmed thinking about all of it. Instead I want to pray without ceasing. I desire to be in God's presence, thanking him.
I am constantly reminding my children that we have so much to be thankful for. We have a roof over our head, clothes on our backs, food to eat that we can thank God for. There are many Christians in the world that don't have that. They are running for their lives, hiding, starving, beaten and yet they still praise and thank God. For what? For salvation, for grace, that this world is temporary and that God has a home prepared for us, for eternity. That in itself is enough to be thankful for.
What are you thankful for today?