1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Well ladies, we have come to the end of our journey in dissecting these three verses in this passage of scripture in Thessalonians 5.
So far we’ve discussed “16 rejoice always”,“17 pray continually”, and now we’re at “18 give thanks…”
How befitting is it to end with this scripture during this time – Thanksgiving. This happened because of the Lord’s guiding, please believe me when I say that it was no planning on my part whatsoever. These verses leaped out of the page and into my heart as I sought the Lord on what to write about during our celebration of Bible week.
Without further ado, let’s get to it ladies…shall we?
The 18th verse of Thessalonians 5 starts off with “give thanks in all circumstances…” there’s more in this verse but we’ll discuss the last portion of this scripture momentarily. As I read this, I pondered the question: Is there a difference between saying thank you and giving thanks? Here’s what I learned…
Thank-You: a verbal expression of gratitude or thanks (lip service). www.dictionary.com
Give Thanks: the act of giving thanks, grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors, especially to God. www.dictionary.com
What a blatant difference between two phrases that seem interchangeable at first glance. Praise God because He wants to reveal His word to us and His desire is for us to go deeper in Him.
Needless to say that our God has given us benefits and favor that we can’t fully comprehend because our humanness is no match for His highness. His unmerited favor and daily benefits alone leave me (personally) in awe, not to mention His mercy, grace, and love, etc. Somehow saying “thank you” to the Lord doesn’t quite suffice in and of itself. Mere expressions of verbal thank-yous simply aren’t enough in comparison to our acts of giving thanks, especially to the One who gave His only Son as a ransom for us all. In addition, when expressions migrate to actions (in God) the result is far beyond what can be imagined.
Please don’t misunderstand me in regard to saying “thank you” to God (or to anyone else for that matter), we should say it because not only is it the right thing to do, it is the polite thing to do as well. Also “thank you” is a natural response we were taught as children to say after being shown kindness, over time it can become automated, mediocre, and lack sincerity. It ultimately loses the value of its meaning in the vastness of repetition. Our heavenly Father is thank-worthy. He deserves more than verbal expressions with our mouths, but the act(s) of giving thanks with our hearts. Having said that, today, I challenge you to delve deeper in Him with a heart of thanksgiving >>> Well, are you up for the challenge?
Since the “thank-you” and “give thanks” phrases have been clarified let’s tack on the next words…all circumstances – give thanks in all circumstances. A circumstance is a condition, detail, part, or attribute, with respect to time, place, manner, agent, etc. that accompanies, determines, or modifies a fact or event, or influencing factor. In addition, it is the current condition or state of a person with respect to income, material welfare, etc.
Let’s break that down for people like me to understand – give thanks no matter what situation (circumstance) you are facing, give thanks when you are smack dab in the middle of life’s raging storm, give thanks in good times and bad, in joy and sadness, in life and death, in anything and everything. Give thanks in ALL circumstances.
The latter part of this scripture explains what was said previously: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. It is God’s will for us to 1.Rejoice always. 2. Pray continually. 3. Give thanks in all circumstances.
I’ve heard it said that the safest place in the world is in the will of God – and I wholeheartedly agree. The will of God is His desire, plan, purpose, etc. for each of us. As godly women, as Christians, our desires, plans, purpose, etc. should be in line with the will of our Lord and Savior. If it’s not in His will it’s not from Him. If your will is not a reflection of His, you are not in harmony with Him and an evaluation of the source of your will is vital. God will never contradict His will (nor His word).
Our all-powerful Lord has given us instructions on how to live on Earth as we journey towards home in Heaven. As we bring this celebration of God’s word to a close, I pray you each remember that reading the Bible should not be confined to a week,a month, or a year, etc. but something we strive to do on a daily basis. The more you know, the more you’ll grow (in Him). We learn about Him by studying Him, by studying His word.
Until we meet again lovelies…May you rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks all circumstances – for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus! Takiela