In EVERYTHING Give Thanks?

You have heard it quoted often, that I am sure.  "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thess. 5:18)."   So, is God serious?  Everything?   How can I give thanks for everything?   

I think the import of the verse is that nothing comes into our lives that doesn't pass through the Father's hand.  Now, that is not an original quote but it is worth repeating.  Job experienced this though it wasn't until the end of his journey that he was let in on the intrigue behind his sufferings, if then.  Naomi found God's goodness through a Moabite daughter-in-law who loved her out of bitterness, over the death of her husband and two sons, and into blessing (as Ruth bore the ancestor of David, and more importantly, Jesus the Messiah).  John Mark cut and  run on the Apostle Paul only to be lovingly guided by Barnabas into a more faithful role and he authored the Gospel of Mark.  The passion and zeal of Saul of Tarsus transformed into what I like to call "The Engergizer Apostle" who took a beating but he kept on preaching.   

Would any of the above have chosen their path of suffering?  I think not.  This is the beauty of God's decision to keep us in the dark about His plans.  If we knew then what was to come, we may have sought to avoid it at all costs. Yet having seen the end result, we can rejoice in the valleys that led to the mountain-top experiences.  

However, with such a biblical witness as the above, and so much more, God calls us through Paul the Apostle to something quite astounding.  He expects us to rejoice in what we cannot see:  the good that will come out of the bad; the triumph that is certain to appear when the tears of tragedy clear from our eyes.  By faith we are to believe that good will come out of evil, joy out of trials and success out of suffering.  

I'd love to hear what you think about this verse.  Do you agree?  Maybe you have another perspective.  Perhaps God has illustrated this truth to you and you would like to share it.  

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