by Michelle Sandwell
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
How can God want me to thank Him when He has taken my husband from me, has taken my children’s father from them? When we see so many heartbreaking events unfolding around the world, am I really supposed to turn around and thank Him? As we approach the looming holidays, what am I to say to Him? Thank you?
In a word, YES. I am drawn not only to the command here to give thanks, but to the rationale for it. This scripture says that the reason I should give thanks is that it is the will of God FOR me. It’s doesn’t say that this is for the sake of God. Although He is certainly worthy of it, He doesn’t need my thanks (strictly speaking). His worthiness to receive thanks is not dependent on my willingness (or lack thereof) to give it. I am the one in need! I need to know the release that comes with offering Him my full surrender. I need to be set free from self-pity, and a sense of entitlement, and the tyranny of the illusion of control. I need to enter into the reckless abandon of worship that says to Him, “I recognize that you are GOD, and You are good, and You have done great things for me, for my husband, for my children.” God wants these things FOR me, and has lovingly given me the secret to the fulfillment of His will for me. He knows that the answer to my need lies in the willingness to give thanks. When I come face to face with Him in His presence, how can I not thank Him?! He is worthy. In every season, in every circumstance, in everything, He is worthy.
My thanks does not change who God is; it changes who I am. For that, and a thousand other reasons, I thank my God, who alone is worthy to be praised.