Giving Thanks

October 7, 2001
by Anne Russell

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

When life is filled with sorrow, pain and suffering, can we take time to say, "Thanks"? Thanks for what?

Very often in life, we suffer losses of many kinds: the loss of a parent, a friend, a child. In these circumstances we are sometimes overwhelmed and can't even think properly. These are times when God seems far away.

The loss could be the loss of a job, the loss of a house. This is a different kind of loss, because it is not of life, but to some it is life-threatening, in that they don't have provision for themselves or for others.

In all losses we feel empty. I think it is a natural thing. After all, the word loss itself means "to lose". If one drops a penny down a sewer grate, one has definitely lost it.

I was suffering a different kind of loss, and I didn't quite know how to deal with it. I was referred to today's scripture verse. I looked it up in my Bible, where I found that I had highlighted it. How strange it is — sometimes we can read the Bible, and make special note of something, yet it takes someone else to remind us of the important things in life.

The verse says to give thanks "in all circumstances" — not just in good times, but in all times, for this is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus. And in the next verse we are commanded, "Do not put out the Spirit's fire." (1 Thessalonians 5:19 NIV)

Yes, in time we must come back to our faith and never put out the Spirit's fire. For in God's will He has a plan to control our lives. We know not what His plan is, but it is for our good — and in His timing it will all be made known to us. All the "whys" in the world will be answered.

Take heed, all we who have lost, for one day it shall be given back.

Prayer: Thank You, God, for all You have given to us — for it is in Your will that we live and move and have our being. See us through and give us strength to stand firm in our faith and never to let go. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Anne Russell <>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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