In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Our immediate response may be, “In every thing? I can understand giving thanks for family and jobs and air conditioning and modern medicine; but how can I give thanks when I lose loved ones, get laid off, or become ill?”

Yet, the Spirit’s command is unavoidable and unblinking: in everything give thanks. And Paul immediately hits upon the greatest and best grounds for gratitude — the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. You see, this command is only part of the enormous picture of God’s will in Christ Jesus concerning you.

If you are a believer in Christ today, then you have every assurance that God chose you in Christ before you were born or the world was ever created. He chose you in spite of, not because of, who you are and what you would do. He chose you because of what Christ would do for you, at the cross…and then sent his son Jesus to be your substitute.

In his perfect timing his Spirit brought you to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and delivered you from the power of sin. And now he continues to work—every moment of every day, in every event of life—in you and for you. All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

It is the purpose of God for you to give thanks in everything, then, because it is the purpose of God to call and save and sanctify and bless you throughout your life, in every season of your life.