Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 2 Corinthians 4:14-16
Yesterday we discussed that, in eternal terms, our constant state of want is overcome by His constant and plentiful grace. Of course we can give thanks for perpetual Plenty, but what about temporal Want?
We have heart longings. We long to be needed and known. We long to feel accepted and free. We long for community, for marriage, for family, for heart-friends everyone else seems to be blessed with but us.
We have pressing, immediate needs. We are unemployed. We are out of groceries. We are supposed to leave on family vacation in a few hours and our engine just sputtered its last. Oh, and if it isn’t asking too much, we haven’t seen our wedding ring in almost a week and, boy, Lord, if you could help us locate it we’d be oh so grateful.
We have human body aches. We are in want for health and healing. We need justice and mercy and for our checkbooks to balance and for our kid to make it one more season in his too-small soccer cleats because we just can’t swing another pair right now.
These things – these circumstances – they’re real. We have human bodies with human needs and limited resources and we are dependent on our God to carry us year-to-year, day-to-day, moment-to-moment.
But still. Nobody likes to be in want.
And giving thanks? We’d absolutely rather exercise giving thanks in plenty.
Yet here we are. In want. And God calls us to, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thess. 5:18, ESV)
“But, Lord,” we argue, “This isn’t an ‘I lost my wedding ring’ circumstance. This is a ‘we’re losing our home’ circumstance. It’s different.”
“Lord, my situation might not be life-threatening, but somebody just stole my wallet and I don’t even want to think about what it will take to recoup all that was in there.”
“Father, I know it’s not a tangible need, but I need people. I feel surrounded all day long, yet so, so alone.”
Sisters, there’s something in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that you must know. Look at it again:
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Do you see it there? Paul is teaching us to give thanks IN all circumstances, not FOR all circumstances.
Want is absolutely real. Life can absolutely turn around in a moment. But no matter what, we can give thanks at all times in all things because He is unchanging and He is in control. If you are in Christ, then you are His. And nothing else matters.
Let us give thanks.
For an added layer of worship and study, we chose a beloved hymn for each day of our Give Thanks plan. Today, we invite you to listen to “Give Me Jesus” as we dwell on the truth of God’s word together.