Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
The apostle Paul commanded us to give thanks in all circumstances, and “all circumstances” certainly includes this global pandemic. Have you given any thought to what you are able to sincerely thank God for during these recent months? I hope you will take some time to prayerfully consider what God has been doing in your life that would not have happened if your life had not been interrupted by COVID-19. Personal experience has taught me that you simply cannot underestimate the power of the Gratitude Attitude.
Before I go on, let me mention just how important an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness is from God’s perspective. Did you know that the Bible tells us that the failure to give thanks to God is part of the foundation upon which God’s judgment against mankind is based?
Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21, emphasis added)
To be sure, we are all ready, willing, and able to give thanks to God for the many temporal blessings He has bestowed on us, beginning with life itself. We are also ready, willing, and able to give thanks to God for the many spiritual blessings we have received in Christ Jesus, beginning with our salvation. But what about those blessings that come to us disguised as burdens . . . like the burden of these past few months? When was the last time you thought about thanking God for the things that make life hard and difficult?
May these words from James encourage you to adopt the Gratitude Attitude:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:3-4)
Remember, James did not say, “If you face trials,” but “When.” Trials are promised to everyone, and the only way for every burden to become a blessing—the only way to sincerely give thanks in all circumstances—is to receive life’s trials with the knowledge and assurance that God is using all of them for His glory and for your good. We must never be complaining or grumbling; this Gratitude Attitude is the character of the Christian, and it is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. When we consistently think and live in this way, we will have, by God’s grace, taken a giant step forward in becoming mature and complete in Christ, not lacking anything.
You are in my prayers and in my heart.
Purpose and Passion,