“Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians5:18).
Why? You'll enjoy life much more that way. (And so will the people around you.)
A few years ago, my wife and I had our first experience staying at a bed and breakfast inn. This was supposed to be a romantic getaway weekend. Our kids had been dropped off with my mother, and we were headed to what would be a surprise destination for my wife.
We ran late. It was late August and the weather was stifling. After we got settled into
our cozy suite, in the middle of a gentle embrace, Becky screamed in my ear, “Spider!” (She does not like spiders!)
Plus, the complimentary soft drinks in our room, weren’t – in our room, that is. The phone number listed for our room was incorrect and my mother couldn’t get in touch with us. Everything in our room was ancient. (Not my wife; I meant the furniture!)
We could have complained. Normally, I would. But we were having too much fun. The ancient furniture pieces were beautiful antiques. The house we were in was absolutely gorgeous. It was located in a fascinating historic area which offered interesting walking tours. The walks took us along a breathtaking waterfront. We discovered two delicious restaurants. It was a wonderful trip.
But it could have been a disaster if we had chosen to dwell on the minor things that went wrong.
Every event of our lives is like that. Every day of our lives is like that. We have a choice how to react to our circumstances. We can enjoy something good about it and be filled with gratitude, or we can complain and be miserable. It’s our choice.
“Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians5:18) is simple advice with a profound impact on how you experience life.
Granted, some situations are more difficult than others. One family sat down for a meal, and the father asked his son to say a blessing.
“It won’t do any good,” the boy replied.
A little surprised, the dad asked, “Why not?”
“Because Mom made broccoli!”
But even for a kid who doesn’t like broccoli, there were things at the table for which he could have been grateful. Somebody cooked dinner. He had a table at which to eat, and a house in which to sit. Perhaps most importantly, he had a mom and dad with whom to share the broccoli.
Interesting the words that precede “Give thanks” in the Scripture above: “Be joyful always,” it says (v. 15). Gratitude and joy are inextricably linked. We won’t experience joy unless we express gratitude. Give thanks and feel joy today.