Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

It’s Thanksgiving 2020. At first glance those two seem like oxymorons: “Thanksgiving” and “2020.” That’s why I chose this verse for this morning. Paul encourages us to give thanks in all circumstances.

This coming from a guy who had a super posh and easy life. Oh wait. That’s right. This guy was routinely shamed in public, hated by peers, thrown in prison, and beaten for his faith. Oh yeah, THAT guy. Give thanks when you are in prison. Give thanks when your friends disown you. Give thanks when people are beating you with rods. Paul’s life was all “2020” before it was cool to be “2020.”

Today as you deal with whatever inconvenience, frustration, grief, pain, or loss that this Thanksgiving brings to you, start the day with a humble prayer of thanks to your God who loves you even in the storm, even in the pain, even in the loss. As the Psalmist wrote, “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 107:1 ESV).

This is the secret that faith in Jesus gives to those who believe. This is the meaning that faith brings to suffering, and the hope that Jesus brings to trials. In all circumstances, he is good. In all circumstances, he is love. And his love endures, doesn’t give up, keeps going, persists, is patient, and will not fail (1 Corinthians 13:8). 

We can give thanks even in the pain and the inconvenience because Jesus doesn’t leave us and his goodness and love sustain us. My prayer for myself and for you today is that we look to God and receive his strength and comfort and find a new way to be thankful to him. My prayer is that he reminds us of the ways his presence and his love have touched our lives. My prayer is that he renews us with his hope, and restores us with his healing. My prayer also, is that we do this for each other. Today, on this day of Thanksgiving, is there someone you know who is lonely or hurting? Reach out and be the goodness and love of God to them today as well!

I pray for your goodness and love to fill my heart, and that I may find ways to be thankful in all circumstances – even the circumstances of 2020.

Author: Christian Dunn