In Everything, Give Thanks

Open Your Bible

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

One summer we drove from Tennessee to California in a shuttle bus. My only caveat as we planned the trip was that I could not handle it 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, “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—with hearts full of joy and the best secret. It wasn’t what we’d planned, but I’ve found it’s so easy to be thankful for good surprises, even when there are so many things that do not go as 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 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 dependent upon our circumstances. If we are praying constantly, that means we ought to be praying even when we feel that things are going well or 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 are always abundant reasons 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).

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49 thoughts on "In Everything, Give Thanks"

  1. Ashton Morris says:

    This was beautifully written; very well said. Hallelujah, Amen.

  2. Ada McCloud says:

    Lord help me to quiet the noise. Help me to rejoice and give thanks. Remind me. Stir my heart. Awaken the fire.

  3. Linda Fenwick says:

    Thank You Heavenly Father for blessing me with so many things I can’t list them all because I don’t know where to start. But too, thank You for the challenges and trials. They have made me see that You are always here and that I am stronger than I thought. That You have made me who I am because of who You are.

  4. Candice Kedroe says:

    Lord I want to never lose sight of all you do for me daily. I am so thankful all that you do, even in the midst of a No I am thankful. Because, I know all you are doing is for my good..❤️

  5. Missy Csonka says:

    ❤️❤️❤️

  6. Missy Csonka says:
  7. Christy Moye says:

    ♥️

  8. Amy EB says:

    My husband and I went through several pregnancy losses before our daughter was born. When we decided to try for another baby, and I got pregnant, I felt so blessed but also had a lot of anxiety about what could go wrong. I kept wishing for one more test or one more scan so I would KNOW that everything was fine (and everything has been fine so far!). I was looking for reassurance of something that can’t be guaranteed. People go through tragic losses even when every test comes back normal and every scan up until then was fine. It’s heartbreaking. But it also reminds me that we do have one thing in our life that is guaranteed – our salvation through the love, grace, and sacrifice of Jesus. I was so grateful that I had that to rely on, that with all my uncertainty about other things I have something I can be certain of and that never changes. I hope I continue to be grateful for who God is and what he’s done for me and to look to Him for reassurance when I need it instead of to the world.

  9. Claire B says:

    ♥️

  10. Lakechia Smith says:

    ❤️

  11. Alayna P. says:

    I am a glass half empty kind of person so I really needed this study. I want to be grateful all the time. Especially when I’m swerving left instead of right! ❤️

  12. Krystle Scott says:

    “He who calls you is faithful; He will do it.” This is my hope. ❤️

  13. Linda in NC says:

    I’m just now reading the deck and Scriptures. Had to stop for a comment! We all have expectations of what our lives will be. As an older teen I would never have dreamed of the things the Lord had in store. I never expected to be married for 60+ yrs. Men in my husband’s family died young. Never expected my salesman husband to be called into pastor ing for 40 yrs! To have lived in SC, GA, FL, TX, NC, Ohio! To become a caretaker as my husband developed Parkinson’s with dementia. But here I am. 2 children, 11 grandchildren and 15 great brands later. God has been so good and faithful all my life. Am I always thankful in the midst of every circumstance? NO sadly I’m not. BUT God! I’m still learning and growing. I can look back and thank Him for each and every circumstance because He’s always been there working even in those very difficult times even in the times I’ve miserably failed Him. Thank you Father for your love, mercy, grace and forgiveness!!

  14. Cee Gee says:

    KRIS – I know how tight those Lifegroup relationships are because ours is like that. I will be praying for Mike and Amy and for the Lifegroup members as each of you minister to them. Praying God grants favor in a wisdom for the medical team, physical strength to endure what’s ahead, successful surgery and promising prognosis. Thank you for sharing this need with us!

  15. Lolly Regan says:

    He who calls you is faithful, He will do it.

    Wow, that changed my heart towards hard circumstances. He will not forsake me, he will not abandon me. He is faithful, he is good. He will do it. He will love me perfectly in each season. He will guide me. He will hear me. He does love me. He will not harm me. He wants the best for me and he is guiding me to it. Amen!

  16. Jessica Timperio says:

    Praying for Amy and Mike

  17. Kelsey Smith says:

    My husband and I have really been struggling lately in our parenting and examining why we do what we do and what our motivations are. It has been very difficult but I’m reminded this morning that I have so much to be grateful for. May the Holy Spirit focus my heart on gratitude and keep before my mind all the things he has blessed me with❤️

  18. Cheryl Blow says:

    “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
    ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭16‬-‭18‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    https://bible.com/bible/111/1th.5.16-18.NIV

    This selection of verses has been coming up in my devotional time all year! After a couple of times, it made me realize God wanted me to hear this Loud and clear.

    I needed to trust Him and praise Him even when I don’t understand. He has everything under control and will take care of me.

  19. Allison Bentley says:

    As a parent of 3 young boys it makes it all (cooking, cleaning, playing, laundry, decorating for holidays, celebrating special occasions, the list can literally go one forever) worth it when one of my boys says “thanks mom”. All the stress, anxiety and tiredness goes away when those two words are mentioned. Not that God has stress, anxiety and tiredness BUT I believe that Al he wants to hear are the two words of gratitude “thanks God” – thanks for being by my side every moment, thanks for providing, thanks for protecting, thanks for the hug, thanks for sunrise, thanks for the beauty of Your creation. I am not worthy BUT You Lord are faithful and for that I am grateful! Happy Friday She’s! Praying over each and every one of you today!

  20. Debby Blake says:

    ❤️

  21. Donna Wolcott says:

    I took like Phil Wickham’s song, Praise Everywhere ” and sing out as I’m driving (for God’s ears only). It’s a joy to be with all of you each morning. Tina, my next scone and cup of tea will be a”hi” to you. Your concerns are lifted.❤️

  22. Kris says:

    PRAYER REQUEST: I belong to a Life Group at my church. One of the ladies, Amy, has a husband that has been ill for a while and was finally diagnosed with cancer on one of his kidneys. He will have surgery to remove it, and then they will have to see where things are. Both Amy and her husband Mike are seasoned, dedicated, committed, deep Christians, full of faith. But this will be hard. I would love to tell Amy that even some of you are praying for God’s favor in this situation. Thanks a million!!

  23. Rhonda J. says:

    @Mari V- Love how you always say “my Jesus!” Reminds me of the big hit by Ann Wilson “Let Me Tell You About My Jesus!” I can hear you saying that to those you meet! It becomes so personal and a great testimony when you can say…”my Jesus…did this!”

    @Sharon..SO GOOD! Thanks for sharing. And yes, God really convicts us when we keep hearing the same thing in different places, lol. We talked about Choices in jail. Such a good lesson, that every day we have choices to make, and basically are we going to make choices that follow God or not. It is very convicting. I said something harshly, not realizing, (but I should have!) to the photographer’s assistant at my niece’s wedding last week, later hearing that she was upset and cried because of that. (I had said something like…oh there you are, when we were waiting for the family pictures outside when we were highly pressed for time and I had left the kitchen of slicing and dicing vegetables..don’t ever do the food yourself the day of a wedding if you are in the wedding party (eyeroll). So, yes, I probably said it in a exasperated way, but that is no excuse to come off that way. God is really working on me and the way I sound to others. I don’t like to sugar coat in tons of niceties, and usually speak before I think but…it’s not really what I like. It’s letting the Holy Spirit change me into how HE wants me!

    @Heidi- Hope it went well. I know I cannot speak in front of people and try to sound eloquent or even what I’m trying to say period. Public speaking is my worst nightmare. But, I know you did WONDERFUL!! Because you love His Word!

  24. Cee Gee says:

    Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks is all about relationship. God created us for relationship, but we let our worldly wants and needs take precedence over the most important relationship we will ever experience – a personal relationship with the one Who created us and cares more for us than we will ever fathom. How selfish I am most days!

    REBECCA FAIRES – Thank you for one of the most smartly written devos! “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 are always abundant reasons for thanksgiving.”

    BUTTONBERRY and FOSTER MAMA – As SRT was loading this morning, the words ‘global community’ jumped off the page at me! I know that in my heart, but it reminded me that there are so very many ‘out there’ that we may never hear from, but we are still ‘in community’! What an AWEsome gift for which to BE THANKFUL! THANKS SO MUCH SRT and ALL SHES in participation! ❤

    SEARCHING – Praying along with you for that miracle! ❤

    TINA, I,too, ‘hear your voice’ (accent ☺) when I read your precious words. Hugs back to you on this rainy Southern day and a tip of my cup to you!

    HEIDI – how did it go yesterday? ❤

  25. Rhonda J. says:

    @Searching- Thanks for mentioning “Praise You in the Storm,” it is one of my go to songs, I just had the lyrics printed to share with our jail ladies, but I can’t believe I have never heard the version featuring Phil Wickham (I love him!)!

  26. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Yesterday’s devotional on “Give Thanks In The Waiting” really hit home as I do not always wait well! Sunday I missed the sermon because was teaching Sunday School. I watched it online yesterday later in the day. Some of the highlight so the sermon – *God’s blessing often follows long periods of waiting. *Waiting is a spiritual discipline, God has a purpose for the wait. *Waiting can be it’s own blessing and often it is…Wow! I think God really wants me grow in the area of waiting!!

    Today in the readings I was once again noticing all the action verbs and phrases- Give thanks. Make known. Sing to Him. Glory in His name. Look to the LORD. Remember the wonders. Act justly. Walk humbly. Clothe yourselves. Bear with. Forgive. Put on Love. Teach and admonish. Sing with gratitude. Give thanks. Respect. Hold them. Live in peace. Help the weak. Be patient. Be kind to each other. Be joyful. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances.

    Why do we strive to do these things? It is God’s will for us.

    I pray that by God’s grace I am able to keep on learning, growing, and doing His will. Every day is a choice – to live for and obey God or not. There are many things in this world to distract us from God’s plan. May each of us stay near to Him, living and walking in obedience each day, keeping our eyes fixed on Him. To God be the Glory.

    @Tina – Thank you for your beautiful words of praise and glory to God. You are an inspiration to us all!
    @Munchkin – continuing to pray for you as you wait. The “Take Away” from Sunday’s sermon was, “Our life in Christ gives us hope for life”. May this truth that we cling to be an encouragement to you today. He is our hope.
    @Heidi – How did it go yesterday?

    A wonderful Friday to you all, I love being here with all of you each day – you are seen, you are loved, you are prayed for! ❤️

  27. Rhonda J. says:

    It’s fitting that Brandon Lake’s “Praise You Anywhere” is playing as I read today’s reading!

    Sometimes you’ve gotta dance through the darkness
    Sing through the fire
    Praise when it don’t make sense
    Sometimes you’ve gotta stare down the giant
    Worship from the lion’s den

    Sometimes you’ve gotta shout it from the mountain
    Louder in the valley
    Trusting that He’s gonna get you there
    Sometimes you’ve gotta welcome the wonder
    Wait for the answer
    Worship with your hands in the air

    I’ll praise You anywhere
    Praise, give Him praise, give Him praise
    In the highest, praise, give Him praise
    In the highest, He is worthy
    Yes, He is worthy of all of the praise

    Sometimes you’ve gotta praise in the prison
    Cry out to heaven
    Shout it ’til the doors swing wide
    Sometimes you’ve gotta stand on your shackles
    Brave in the battle
    Worship with your hands held high

    If you listen to the catchy tune you will be singing it all day long!

    @Foster Mama- I had to laugh when you were mentioned you would love to hang out and talk in the airport with your SHE’s, it reminded me of being in the airport in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago. I usually like to open my book and read or have earbuds in, but as I sat down in a crowded area next to a lady on the phone, she was just talking away. She was an older, southern lady (she sounded like someone from my KY home!) When she got off the phone, she faced me and just continued on talking, lol! She didn’t stop and I knew everything about her! She was sweet, like an old friend. (But I was glad I wasn’t next to her on the plane!)

    This was a wonderful study as always! It is the comments that add so much depth to it! Hugs and love to each!

  28. Lori Lackey says:

    Colossians 3:12-16 is going to be my memory and life verse for the year

  29. Mari V says:

    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, is our memory verse. Rejoice. Pray. And Give Thanks. I will strive to do this, even when it’s hard. I want to do these things even when it’s hard, I have nowhere else to turn but to my Jesus. And forever, grateful, for what He has done for me. Another amazing study with all of you. I enjoyed every minute of my mornings with you. Happy Friday sweet She’s.

  30. Erica Chiarelli says:

    Amen! We can give thanks in all circumstances b/c In all, we have a God Who is always good…even when we face bad or hard, He is forever good and faithful. He is working it all together for our good and His glory! Thank You, Jesus!! ❤️

  31. Buttonberry says:

    Oh FOSTER MAMA, I So agree with your comment! I am always so blessed by this amazing community of women, and I love the thought that we WILL all meet someday! I read this study every day, but just rarely comment… and I know I’m not alone in this, but I’m so thankful for the ladies who do comment.

    Suffice to say, as I read prayer requests and praises in the comments, my prayers are added to all the others- lifting you dear women up that I have not seen, yet hold dear in my heart- truly!

    You all are such a blessing in your thoughts and insights during these studies. I pray that God will richly bless you all and meet all of your needs.

    Love and warm hugs from Ohio!

  32. Caroline Bridges says:

    Dear God,
    You taught us to love one another
    You taught us to Give Thanks in everything
    You taught us gratitude
    We appreciate you doing it for us
    In your name we pray, amen
    —The prayer I wrote in my study book

  33. Munchkin says:

    Throughout the month, through this Bible study and other things, I have learned that gratitude is a choice. I can be thankful for life or I can choose not to be. It is not dependent on the circumstances. Life will always have ups and downs till we’re called home, but as long as I’m here on Earth, I need to remain thankful that God is with me. He doesn’t abandon me to go through the hard stuff alone. As I’ve said, I’m at a crossroads at my life and the waiting can be unbearable, but God… God knows and waits with me there.

  34. Caroline Bridges says:

    One of the verses we read today is tomorrow’s verse of the day.

  35. Shannon McGuffin says:

    ♥️

  36. Adrienne says:

    I am more of a “glass-half-full” person anyways, but today’s devotion and scripture passages really emphasized that. I went to a Pinterest board that I have, titled “Did I Say That?”, and saw so many pins that reinforced this message. I was looking for one in particular, that said there is always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for. (I was looking for a person to cite the “quote” from. No one was listed… maybe because we have all said that, right?)

    Always. Truth.

    And, yes, I agree with many that it is not as easy to give thanks when things are going well. But, of course, I think many of us find it difficult to give thanks when things are rough… (IN and FOR, right?!?!?!)

    Keep looking for those “glass-half-full” things. Be blessed today and every day, sweet She’s! ❤️

  37. Foster Mama says:

    Good morning my Sisters… I started today by going back to a few late comments from yesterday and a smile never left my face, being inspired by various excellent lessons (more beautifully summarized by SEARCHING. i.e. confessing to God when I went ahead of Him and the result, waiting on God(‘s people) as we are waiting on God, waiting WITH Someone…some of my funniest / most intimate/ favourite memories are from times I waited with someone for a late something….

    I thought “WHO ARE these women?!?!? And how could I be so blessed to be within this community?!?”…. Again, SO thankful for all of you!

    Thank you also for all the beauty ❤️this morning ALREADY…

    @ ERB – ❤️ Hi Sweetie!!

    @ TINA, like @ DANA I feel your hugs and hear your voice in my heart as you write.

    There is no better companion than my Jesus to wait with but…I would happily sit next to so many of you new friends and older (you know who ❤️ you are) in an airport ☺️ through multiple announcements of delays.

    OH to remember to be thankful in all things and at all times and how little this has to do with whether or not they make me ‘happy’

  38. Julie Hurst says:

    This study has been like a cool drink on a hot day….you can repeat it every year as far as I’m concerned!….

  39. Donna Mitchell says:

    Amen

  40. MARTHA HIX says:

    ❤️

  41. Karen Elizabeth says:

    Searching, I agree completely. This came up in Bible study this week. When is my faith most weak? Several of us had written that it is weak (or lukewarm) it’s when things are going well, when not being tested or pushed. The same thing with thankfulness. I have to continually fix my eyes and focus on Jesus, particularly when things are going well. Otherwise it’s easy to think that I’m doing something right, rather than giving God all the credit and falling to my knees in gratitude.

  42. Christina Quinn says:

    ❤️

  43. Maria B says:

    SEARCHING mentioned about that Adrienne wrote earlier this week of “the difference of being thankful in, versus being thankful for.”

    This is such an important distinction that, honestly, I don’t think much of. And it truly is about the posture of our hearts in our relationship with God. Wonderful reminder.

  44. Aimee D-R says:

    Tina you have blessed us all this morning. May God continue to use and bless you greatly!

  45. Searching says:

    It dawned on me as I read these passages that many times I fail to be thankful – not necessarily when things are not going as I wish, but I often fail to be thankful in the good times. Sailing along, not being thankful that I’m not in crisis, not being thankful that those I love are healthy, not being thankful that I can pay the bills. It’s not that I’m totally ungrateful, but am feeling convicted that I need more focus on worship and thankfulness everyday, IN ALL things.

    ADRIENNE mentioned earlier this week of the difference of being thankful in, versus being thankful for. Great reminder.

    Song that came to mind this morning- Praise Him in The Storm (Casting Crowns with Phil Wickham version is my fav). Thank you CEE GEE ❤️, ERB ❤️ and others with song suggestions.

    TINA – thank you for your words today ❤️ so moving.

    TERESA DONLEY – thank you for sharing your prayer of confession & learning
    KIMBERLY Z – praying for your sister’s strength and bravery to move. Heartbreaking situation.
    KRIS – your comments on waiting WITH God and serving Him in the waiting, thank you
    ALLISON BENTLEY – thank you for your testimony
    GRAMSIESUE- ❤️
    KATIE MCCUNE – praying for any healing or repairs needed after the accident to go smoothly
    MERCY ❤️ thank you for asking, still looking daily for the lost item :/.
    Friend’s daughter is very ill but still fighting as of last night’s update. Significant new challenges each day this week – thank you so much for praying. We are looking to the Lord for a miracle. Praying for your aunt and your family – so sorry for the news that your uncle passed away.

  46. Kelly (NEO) says:

    “Remember the wondrous works he has done,
    his wonders, and the judgments he has pronounced.”

    Remembering is the key to thankfulness. As Rebecca said above, “The foundation of a life of thanksgiving is seeing God for who He is.”

    ERB – ❤️ was thrilled to see your comments. Thanks for the song.

    TINA – thankful for your willingness to share God’s goodness in all things of your life.

    MERCY – praying for your aunt in the loss of her husband and son. May this time of sorrow draw her to Jesus. May God give you words of comfort that open her eyes to Him.

    KATIE MCCUNE – praying your husband is okay and all will be quickly resolved.

  47. Dana says:

    Tina, this was incredibly moving and beautiful. I could feel your very heart in every word…through tears of course because I felt God in them too. He is everything and his Goodness deserves our open arms and bended knee. Thank you for allowing me (all of us) to share in your thankfulness. I will close my eyes in Peace tonight.

  48. Tina says:

    I would not have wanted to be without my daughter, at my age now, or ever… ever.!

    I pause now to remember her forever young face as it appears in my mind. For her, as a memory, nothing has changed on the face I am imagining, but for me, since the day she was called home, I have changed, in all ways, yet, I have not…

    BUT GOD..

    I, like Paul, on his Damascus road, was given a sign, a beautiful vision of where my daughter was..and have been forever changed since.
    I am able to give thanks( mostly) because I have seen God’s hand at work, on my behalf.

    I am able to rejoice when I have no strength to rejoice because, again, God has been favourable to me..

    I am able to to praise God, often through tears because, though, I cannot do it in my own strength, i know my God can..

    I am able to proclaim Him Lord of all, when the going gets tough, because I believe wholeheartedly that God, always, has my best interest at heart..

    So today, as I recall, the many amazing reasons why I should Praise, Glorify, Proclaim, Rejoice in the One who, never sleeps nor slumbers, and is always in the midst of my battles and joys, may I raise my arms, heart and voice as I give thanks in all things and circumstances, because He is worthy, absolutely WORTHY of my Praise and Thanksgiving..

    AMEN..

    Giving thanks for each and every one of you, dear sisters, and to you I say, Thank you for being here, wrapped in love and hugs and covered in prayers for a good and God blessed day!❤️

    1. Deanna Rasch says:

      So powerful, Tina – thank you for