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Seeds of the Kingdom

Give Thanks in All Circumstances

by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

14 November 2021

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Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV

I expect that most of us find it easy to thank God when things are going well in our lives or when we have just experienced His love and care for us in a special way. However, today’s scripture tells us that we should be giving thanks in all circumstances. This means that we should be thankful to God when we are going through trials and difficulties, when we are experiencing grief and pain, and when we are feeling low. It doesn’t mean that we thank God for whatever is happening, as it may not have been caused by Him, but we can thank Him in the situation, because He never changes and will always be faithful to us.

I remember one occasion when I was nursing my husband through his final illness. The Lord had been amazingly faithful to us both, giving us peace and strength throughout. However, there was one day when I began to feel slightly overwhelmed and sorry for myself. I went outside to do some gardening (which is always good therapy for me) and I heard God say to me: “Start to thank me.”

I think my initial response was, “What, Lord?” And He said again, “Start to thank me for what you do have.” “OK, Lord,” I responded, rather half-heartedly. I started, (without great enthusiasm, I have to admit), “Lord, thank You for our home, for our garden, and for our family”.

Then I began to thank Him for who He is and for all that He had done in my life, and in a very short time I was full of praise and joy. My mood had completely turned around. Giving thanks had enabled me to take my eyes off myself and my problems and to focus on my wonderful, loving, Heavenly Father, who is always constant.

Psalm 50:23 says in the New International Version, ‘He who sacrifices thank offerings honours me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.’ It is sometimes a sacrifice to start thanking God because we don’t always feel like it. But it honours God, and it prepares the way for Him to show us more of Himself and what He has done for us at the cross.

There is an old song by Johnson Oatman (1897) that goes, ‘When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.’

Whatever your circumstances today, why not stop and take a moment to count your blessings, giving thanks to the Lord for who He is and what He has done for you?

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You never change and are always faithful to Your promises. Thank You for all the many blessings I have (take time to name specific ones …). Help me to remember to do this more often. Amen.

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.


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