Day 19

In Everything, Give Thanks

from the Give Thanks reading plan

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, Psalm 105:1-6, Micah 6:8, Colossians 3:12-16

BY Rebecca Faires

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, Psalm 105:1-6, Micah 6:8, Colossians 3:12-16

This summer we drove from Tennessee to California in a shuttle bus. My one caveat as we planned the trip: I can’t handle this while pregnant! But two weeks into our travels, I sat down in the back of the bus as we bumped along the highway through Fargo, North Dakota, and started doing some figuring, resulting in the words, “Husband! Stop the bus!”

An eighty-eight-cent pregnancy test told us I was pregnant. So there we were, in the middle of the country—just as far from home as we were from our vacation destination—hearts full of joy with the best secret. It wasn’t what we’d planned, but we’ve found it’s so easy to be thankful for good surprises.

There are so many things that do not go as planned. For me, these unexpected circumstances have often been of the pregnancy-related variety. Here’s the thing: growing our family has never gone as we’d planned.

I imagine you’ve experienced this too. The college you planned on going to wasn’t the one you actually attended. Your high school sweetheart ended up marrying someone else. You entered into a six-month-long interview process but didn’t land the job. You had far less time with a parent or a child than you ever could have imagined. We’ve all experienced a change of plans, a change of expectations. Still, somehow, in the midst of things swerving left when we were expecting them to turn right, we’re called to give thanks:

“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).

If we are to rejoice always, that means our rejoicing cannot be dependant upon our circumstances. If we are praying constantly, that means we ought to be praying even when we feel that things are going well, like we’ve got everything under control. If we are giving thanks in everything, that means we’re thankful not just on Thanksgiving Day, but also when things don’t go the way we had planned.

But how? How can we give thanks in all circumstances? How can our thankfulness be ongoing? It’s far too easy to slip into a lazy, lip-service kind of thanksgiving. Or to read 1 Thessalonians 5 and feel the pressure to give thanks in spite of what’s happening. But we aren’t only called to give thanks in spite of what’s happening; we’re called to give thanks because of our God—because this is His will for us in Christ Jesus.

The foundation of a life of thanksgiving is seeing God for who He is. It is keeping our eyes fixed on Christ. When He is front and center, there is always abundant reason for thanksgiving. No circumstance or surprise, whether welcome or scary, is able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So let us give thanks to the Lord and call on His name. Let us sing to Him, praising and proclaiming His goodness. Let us honor and seek Him above all else—because, regardless of our circumstances, our God is always worthy of our gratitude (Psalm 105:1–5).


Rebecca Faires loves the gospel story and needs it every morning when she wakes up to her five little people. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree in German from Hillsdale College, and most recently worked as the managing editor and writer at She Reads Truth. She now works from her log cabin in the hills of Tennessee, writing and illustrating books with her favorite mountain man. There she enjoys porch-sitting as it rains, reading the Oxford English Dictionary, and getting in way over her head. She is expecting her sixth baby and her first book in February of 2019.

Post Comments (64)

64 thoughts on "In Everything, Give Thanks"

  1. Heather Nistler (MNmomma) says:

    Oh Betsy….you have been and will continue to be in my prayers….so much love wrapped around you and your family! Love and hugs!

  2. Jessica Harvey says:

    These words couldn’t be any truer for me and I literally heard a message just like this the other day! I don’t think anything has ever come out how I expected it to. I’m 25 and I thought I would be a nurse with a house, married, with kids. Instead, I’m a single mom that lives with my family and I have no idea what career I want to go into. I was planning on buying a house really soon and found out I need to get a new car because mine keeps needing costly repairs. And I was upset at first about that but then I thought about the message I heard the other day. And all I could say was,” Thank You, God that this happened before I buy a house. A house is a huge responsibility and it would have been more difficult to get the car afterwards than before.”

  3. Betsy Pittman says:

    I woke this morning to hop back on and read and am moved to tears by this wonderful community. Gramiesue, Bethanie, Cindy, Kimberly, PamC, Churchmouse and Tina, THANK YOU so much for your kind words to me. I have missed interacting with you all and have missed not having much to contribute. I cannot thank you enough for your prayers over me and my family, we are all mystified by this season but knowing that you guys are lifting us up warms my heart and gives me a lift that is unbelievably encouraging. You women of the SRT community have a soft place in my heart and it is truly a beautiful thing to know when I endure, I am not alone, you guys are right here with me! I am so grateful for you all. Thank you again. Love you all! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Prayerful over you all! ~ B

  4. Tina says:

    This will be my 3rd attempt to reply to Betsys comment!

    How do I give thanks in the unnecessary time wasting on my part because I am not computer minded or literate…
    Absolutely can in this moment because I want so so desperately to get this message to my friend and sister across the pond Betsy..
    So very thankful to see you here this morning.. my heart is singing and nothing is getting in the way of that!
    B, you have been on my heart these past weeks.. so very sorry for your families season right now and for the journey you are on..
    But God..
    I know He is with you and this..
    No matter how dark the night my ~B, morning will come with its singing birds and light, beautiful Son(sun)- filled light..
    Will continue to lift you and yours in prayer.
    I love you. Sending love wrapped hugs filled with prayers of peace, Grace hope, joy and thanks..♥️♥️

  5. E Hong says:

    i pray that i can be able to pray to God even when I am going through good times and that we would not only praise Him on Thanksgiving, but everyday -ellie

  6. Dani says:

    Hope you feel better soon!

  7. Vicki Lynch says:


  8. Mari V says:

    I am home not feeling well. Very bad headache. I’ve had a cough since Monday. Only a cough. This headache hurts bad. My mom just laid hands on me to pray. I pushed myself because for now I’m a single parent. I dropped off my car to get fixed. Please pray I can pay that off quickly. Pray this headache is just a headache. Maybe even from coughing so much. AND as I read today’s devotion ( a few hours later then normal) I WILL GIVE THANKS to my ONE and ONLY God who continues to be faithful. HE continues to do amazing things in my life and my kids! It’s ALL GOD none of me.

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