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Give Thanks 2013: Day

Give thanks in want

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Today's Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 2 Corinthians 4:14-16

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.”

Give thanks.

“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.”

Give thanks.

“Father, I know it’s not a tangible need, but I need people. I feel surrounded all day long, yet so, so alone.”

Give thanks.

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.

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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.

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  • I am struggling with anxious thoughts that probably stemmed from losing focus on God. This is a great reminder that instead of focusing on life’s discomforts, i sgould give thanks in ALL that’s happening whether good or bad. God is in control. All the time.

  • Linda, my heart goes out to you as a woman who had an abortion at an early age but later had a miscarriage. I want a child and since i am in my late forties, unmarried and no husband. The guy i am dating had a vascetomy. I dont see that happening unless I adopt. I feel you. This devotion yells at me. I have been in want for so long even though I pray, read his word, cry at times, so much more, learning to give thanks in mu circumstance has been hard. I am doing my best to keep on keeping on. I can see how he has been carrying me because i know i did not make it through by my will at all. Therefore i give him my highest praise while thanking him. Hallelujah…thank you God….amen

  • This is a tough verse, and I don't know if the devotional fully unpacked it for me. I recently had a miscarriage and while I have struggled to understand where God was in it all, I know that Gods love and grace has sustained me. I give thanks for that….but I find it hard to understand "because this is his will for you". Something I guess I am going to have to look into more.

    • LindaL

      Just a quick thought Louise. The phrase "this is His will" is referring to the giving of thanks, not the unpleasant circumstance. My two cents, from another person who has just read this devotion several months after everyone else!

      • Louise

        Thanks Linda. As I have pondered over this over the weekend and read more that is the same conclusion I came too.

  • The one thing I think about in the verse is ” because this is His will for you “

  • Thanks so much for this wonderful post. I plan on reading it often throughout the year.

  • Stephanie

    As i go through my day to day.Overcome by the thought of bills who iowe what we don’t have to each. How much i no longer enjoy my job. BUT trying to stay true to my faith in God and he will supply all my needs. But everyday therebis another battle. Stress overwhelms my inside while on the outside theres a picture of everything is okay. I give it to God. I fear he doe not hear me. All alone

  • Remembering to be thankful in all things

  • Thank you Lord for this reminder to shout out my thanks to you during times of intense loneliness and frustration. You are my eternal source of comfort. Thank you that I can trust you are working in my grown children’s lives

  • Jennifer

    This is something that I needed reminded of. I have been forgetting that I should be giving thanks for the things I have in my life and not the things I do not. We struggle but I have a loving husband and son who mean the world to me. I have a roof over my head and clothes and food. There will always be wants but in all circumstances I must learn to be thankful.

  • Be thankful in uncertainty.
    Be thankful in marriage discouragement.
    Be thankful in your mistakes.
    Be thankful in tears.
    Be thankful in work.
    Be thankful in struggle.
    Be thankful in financial worries.
    Be thankful in packing and preparing for the holidays.
    Be thankful in disrupted sleep and fatigue.
    Be thankful in toddler tantrums.
    Be thankful in in-law visits.
    Be thankful in family.
    Be thankful in friends.
    Be thankful in a warm safe home.
    Be thankful in plenty of food.
    Be thankful in provision.
    He is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. He can help us be thankful.

  • Father, I praise you. I praise you for being sovereign, good, and redeeming in all of the confusion and chaos I am facing, even if I don't realize it. I give all to you. Praise you! You are good!

  • Hazelmaddie

    This is great. I love 2 Corinthians 4:16. Some days I feel like my body is wasting away and I wonder if my whole person is also. Not true! God renews me day after day! Thank you Jesus!

    Again, I love the honesty here. You are all in my prayers.

  • Give thanks IN all circumstances, not FOR all circumstances. …
    SOOO simple, soo obvious.
    Thanks for pointing this out Raechel!
    Totally changes our perception.
    And still acknowledges that while sometimes hard, there is always something to be grateful for.
    Have a lovely weekend Ladies!

  • Jesusgirl71

    Great devo and comments! I always seem to be in want, never satisfied. I hate that about myself, and the things I want are often so miniscule and unimportant. Lord, help me to be thankful rather than dissatisfied at every turn.

    • Dorothy

      GOD is so pleased with your desire to chane. His precious holy spirit will help you each step of the way.

  • Candacejo

    Awesome devo and amazing comments this morning ladies…blessed indeed! God is FOR me!

    Mickey Mangun does a beautiful job of explaining that before she sings "We Still Believe"….such an encouragement and goes so well with the lesson this morning, like everything else, if you want to hear her short exhortation on "God is FOR Me"…
    http://youtu.be/2s1b4DQn1Rs

    Be blessed!

  • Good Morning. ..

    Whoa, did this morning’s devo hit home! “In all”, give thanks…

    In spite of the many things I’m going through, unemployment, mortgage payments late, court appearances for late city water bills & the possible lockout from my homeowners assoc….Give thanks.

    These life circumstances are very MUCH real, for myself and many others…BUT I am thankful to God because I will ENDURE this, I will REMAIN prayerful, faithful, hopeful, and thankful

  • . . . If you are in Christ, then you are His. And nothing else matters.

    In suffering and times of great joy, I am HIS and I am to give thanks IN all things. God really isn't complicated. Worship Him, bring Him glory and sit back and know that He is God!

    Thank you Farther for sometimes just knocking me beside the head (in love) and telling me how easy it is to please you. Thank you that I can (and should) rejoice in the Lord always–this rules out the "I don't feel like it today because God hasn't been on my side lately." You are always, ALWAYS good and just, and worthy of my praise and thanksgiving.

  • thetagumas

    The reminder that it is *in* not *for* our circumstances is so good.
    Because it is His will for us to rejoice and pray and give thanks (I Thess 5:16-18). And the reward – "that eternal weight of glory" – is beyond anything we could imagine (2Cor 4).

    The devotional this morning reminds me of the version of the song, Though You Slay Me (originally by Lauren Chandler who wrote it after several miscarriages and her husband's diagnosis of brain cancer), by Shane & Shane with the voice of John Piper speaking about the purpose of suffering. (You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyUPz6_TciY)

  • Jennifer

    1 Thes 5: 16-18 was the dedication verse we chose for our son…I pray that it not only rings true throughout his life, but my life as well.

  • Janee White

    Lord, Prioritize my hears desires and grant me only those that are pleasing and honoring to You.

    I love love love how you emphasized that we are told to give thanks IN all circurmstances and not FOR all circumstances. So often that is twisted around and people are being taught that every thing that happens is God's Will for them. I dont believe that at all because that negates any workings of the enemy in this World. BUT in ALL circumstances, there are many things to be thankful for.

    Right now, I am unemployed and losing my home – Thank you Jesus that you promised in your Word that ALL my needs will be met. I have no fear. I daily look for the good and daily find the good. Regardless of the sign in the yard, and the numbers in my checkbook, My God is a good God and nothing can seperate me from His love. He has greater things planned than I could even attempt to organize. And I trust Him more than I trust my circumstance. So today, I give thanks for truly, all my needs are being met – in Jesus' Name.

    • Candacejo

      I agree Janee! God doesn't send trials like losing your home…sometimes we just have LIFE happen to us because we are human living on Planet Earth. BUT, He will take something like this, that is monumental to you, and show up in a BIG way. Whether it is to deliver you FROM your circumstance or BE with you IN your circumstance, He IS GOD!

      Praying for you and your family that you will have strength and peace in this season.

      • Janee White

        Thanks Candace…and you are so right. This IS life happening to us right now. God has not, nor will He, abandon us. He is with us, and we are just walking hand in hand with Him right now, finding all the blessings along the way. He is a good God and He will work this out for His Glory.

    • Sherri

      Praying for you and your family. God bless you.

      • Janee White

        Thank you Sherri! I appreciate that. It's not easy to focus on the good that He is doing in 'not quite so favorable' circumstances, but it is easier to trust Him than it is to fight a battle that I can not win. Does that make sense?

    • Dianne

      Jane,you are a good example of what Paul said," I have learned in whatsoever state I am,therewith to be content."May The Lord truly bless you and continue to give you the stength and inner peace that can only come from Him. He will never leave you or forsake you,another one of His promises.Praying that you can continue to keep up the good fight!

  • Romans 8:31 If God is for us who can be against us. Give thanks

  • Joanne Sher

    No matter my needs or wants, I can be thankful to God. He is with me and for me. He has my best interests at heart. He is trustworthy. He is faithful.

    Thank you for this much-needed reminder!

  • 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
    18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
    Our affliction sure doesn’t seem light. Sure seems longer than a moment but compared to eternity it really is just a moment. With thanksgiving God changes our perspective!!

  • Holy Spirit remind me that in every circumstance I am to give thanks. In the midst of it all I am to be thankful that I have a Father that loves me so unconditionally that He has promised to never leave or forsake me. Therefore I choose to focus not on my circumstances but on Him whose has been touched by everything we will ever possibly experience.

    He has never let me down before and in this present time if all is not as I think it should be, this too shall past. One thing remains the same…Jesus, He and who He is. (Hebrews 13:8) I know that He truly knows and cares and for that I am thankful.

    Thank you Raechel for the reminder!

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