The Will of God

In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I Thessalonians 5:18

Continuing on with our series of thankfulness and thanksgiving, we will look at one of my favorite verses about giving thanks.  In this verse, we are told to give thanks “in every thing.”  And, again, this is sometimes a difficult assignment.  But it is what we have been told to do, so we need to work at it. 

As I was thinking about this verse, it occurred to me that the “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” phrase could be taken one of two ways.  Now, grammatically, I’m not exactly sure which what the “this” refers back to.  (My mom is an English teacher, so don’t tell her that I didn’t know this)  But, one of the things I love about the Bible is that it has the ability to say more than one thing at a time.  When you think about it, I believe that you can apply this verse either way.

1. It is “God’s will in Christ Jesus concerning you” that you give thanks.  The Lord wants us to give thanks in everything.  This is something that we have mentioned in the last couple of days, and I have noticed that several other bloggers have mentioned the same type of thing in their blogs.  No matter what the situation, God brought it into our lives, and so it is His will that we be thankful for it.  That application is probably the most common from this passage.  But I think that you could also look at it like this:

2. We should give thanks because “every thing” in our lives is “the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  God does not make mistakes.  Neither does He “forget about us.”  Everything that He brings into our lives, He brings into our lives on purpose.  He has a purpose for everything.  We may not immediately see His purpose, but we can take comfort in the fact that the things He allows in our lives are “the will of God.” 

Either way we look at the verse, we can not get away from the fact that we need to be giving thanks for every thing.  It is no longer
Thanksgiving Day”, but we need to remain thankful always!

12 responses to this post.

  1. Ben,
    Another way of saying it — we are able to give thanks when we trust God….. It is God’s will that we so trust Him that thanksgiving is more natural in every circumstance….. These are truths we need to remember more often.


    • So true! It’s kind of a snowball effect. As we trust Him more, we become more thankful and as we become more thankful, we trust Him more, etc… We do need to remember them, but they seem so easy to forget!


  2. This was so good! My daughter and I were just discussing that very thing. I like to add that not only does God allow all that comes into our lives for His purpose, but His purpose is always good (even when the stuff that comes involves suffering). I used to like to tell the kids about Joseph who was sold by his brothers into slavery and at the end of the story said that what they had intended for evil God had intended for good (Genesis 50:15-21).



    • That’s a great story for this thought. I had not even thought of it. I suppose that is where the trust things comes in- He is always working for good, even if it may not seem like it at times.


  3. Ben, Every day should be a day of thanksgiving. Thank you for continuing with the theme of thankfulness even after the official holiday is over. Peace, Linda


  4. I loved how you saw it both ways! I had thought about how we long to know what His will is for us at times, and always liked that this states it . . .to be thankful! 🙂 I think it’s Ann Voskamp’s site that has a special project going on where you begin listing 1000 things you are thankful for . . .for however long it takes you. It kind of keeps you looking for things! God bless you!


  5. Posted by Rodney Tripcony on November 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Good stuff. I’ve wondered about the meaning of “this” also, and I think your suggestions are plausible. In fact, although you worded it a whole lot better than I, it was precisely the same thing that I had speculated.


    • Thank you. I love that about the Bible – you can read a passage a dozen times, and then all of a sudden, you will notice something else about it or you will see it in a slightly different light. It is an amazing Book!


  6. This is great Ben. Interesting comments too.

    Thank you kindly. Thanksgiving is a way of life … would be great if we could practice this every day. Not always easy to do especially when He’s not doing what I wand 🙂

    I shall give thanks, regardless.



    • I agree with that- it is a way of life (that’s a great quote and I might have to use it sometime!) It seems like “what I want” tends to come up pretty often with me, but I’m working on it. 🙂


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