Thankfulness in All Circumstances by Peggi Tustan

By November 15, 2021Growing in Faith, Women

I was young, only married a year, when my first husband left. I remember driving over to tell my mother feeling a bit of fear and trepidation. How would she take the news? After telling her, however, she cradled my hands in her own and said, “Peggi, we’re supposed to thank God in all things.” Then, she prayed and thanked God.

It was definitely not the reaction I expected, but what a gift! In that fragile moment, Mom did not judge me, dissolve into tears, or explode in anger. For God had prepared her heart. She had been reading a book on praise and thanksgiving.[1] I felt such immense relief, even a bit hopeful, and I sure did love my mom in that moment. She wielded the power of giving thanks in all circumstances.

Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NLT)

Giving thanks for good things—sunshine, friends, weekends, chocolate—is easy. Giving thanks in difficult circumstances is not. My mother’s offering of thanksgiving was not done glibly, in the spirit of, “Thank God the jerk left!” Not at all, she loved the man. She gave it sacrificially in obedience to God’s will.

Thankfulness, especially in difficult circumstances, expresses our faith. Perhaps that’s why God wills it. For doing so confirms our belief God can (and will) use everything for our good. Because that’s who our God is. He weaves even the most painful circumstances into the beautiful redemption story he’s writing in our hearts.[2] In the midst of a heart-wrenching abandonment, God placed a cherished memory of my mother’s thankfulness.

Right now, we are living through difficult circumstances as we continue to battle a stubborn pandemic. This month of Thanksgiving, by faith, we can choose to be intentionally thankful—not for the pandemic itself (or any other horrible thing we may be suffering), but for the countless blessings God has given in its midst. Write a note expressing gratitude. Make a call. Whisper many prayers of thanks to our God in all circumstances!

A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received
Is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God.
It prevails with Him unspeakably.
–John Bunyan

Dear Father-God,
Thank you for life and love and family.
In the midst of this pandemic and other difficulties, give us grateful hearts.
Open our eyes to the beauty and blessings that surround us.
Shine your light of love and hope in and through us.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Be intentional. Thank God for seven good things in your life.
  2. Be thankful in all circumstances. Thank God for three difficult things.

Ask the Lord how he might use each one for your good and his glory (Romans 8:28).

Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good
You turn it for our good and for Your glory
Even in the valley, You are faithful
You’re working for our good
You’re working for our good and for Your glory
(Excerpt from “Sovereign Over Us” by Michael W. Smith)

 

[1] Clap Your Hands by Larry Tomczak

[2] Romans 8:28