Give Thanks in all Circumstances?

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;

 for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

On April 1, 2012, I developed Bell’s palsy which is an inflammation of the facial nerve. My doctor insisted I have an MRI to make sure nothing else was happening. Of course there was something happening, and from there I was diagnosed with bilateral acoustic neuromas and a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 2.

Early on, I made a commitment to God that I would remain faithful during the journey, which is actually a lifetime journey. And I do my best with that commitment, even though I’m not perfect.

The above verse however sort of stuck in my craw, as they say. I understand that the verse says give thanks IN all circumstances, not FOR all circumstances. Still my stubborn little self refused to believe that I would ever rejoice or be thankful for my brain tumors but…

Ten years later, I’m a different person than I was on April 1, 2012. My health will never be as good as it was on that day. I struggle in many different ways but… even though I’m not thankful FOR the tumors, I am thankful for the new relationship with God that was forged from them.

During these past ten years, I’ve learned just how faithful God is. I’ve learned that I can depend on him to give me the strength to endure the battles I face. I’ve learned that God keeps his promises. I’m so thankful for the peace and joy He gives me each day to not just face another day, but to enjoy that day.

Now when I read this verse:

1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I understand it’s actually a to do list to help get me through the difficult challenges of this life.

Rejoice always.

Pray continually.

Give thanks in all circumstances.

God never promises life will be easy. God never promises that you won’t have challenges or even tragedies. But he promises never to leave us. He promises to turn ashes into beauty.

The advice to do these three things (rejoice, pray, give thanks) in the midst of your circumstances will help you survive and even thrive, no matter what the circumstances are!

God is good.

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