In a recent newsletter that Dad and Mom sent out, they had some interesting thoughts to ponder. Though they are going through many trials on the mission field, God has helped them to keep a thankful heart.
In Everything Give Thanks
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything? Does it really mean we are to give thanks in everything? Yes, the verse says that it is God’s will for us to give thanks in everything.
Does that mean when the rains cease, and the water supply starts to run low again so we have to ration the water? Yes. Does that mean when we aren’t able to take a real bath for a week or two or three? Yes.
Does that mean when, due to a leak in the fuel tank, the fuel supply for the generator gets too low to last six weeks and so has to be rationed to meet the most urgent needs of those weeks? Yes. Does that mean when there are bigger mounds of laundry to do because we only get to do it once a week since there is not enough fuel to run the generator more often? Yes.
Does that mean when you come home after a week in town and discover that a rat has made a big mess around the house, chewed up a sentimental throw pillow,* and tried to make a nest on your nice soft blanket? Yes.
*This throw pillow belonged to Mom's mom. It was a special keepsake, a cross-stitched pillow with a beautiful scene and the song, "Beyond the Sunset." Mom was thankful that she was able to salvage the cross-stitched part.
Does that mean when you pour your hearts into God’s work and people’s lives and they reject the teaching of the Word? Yes. Does that mean when you are falsely accused of being the reason for someone else’s wrongdoing? Yes. Does that mean when people you are trying to teach and prepare for the ministry go against your advice and do things their own way in order to please men? Yes.
Does that mean when you are told that your plane will be arriving in Owena at 10:30 a.m., and you wait two hours in the hot sun at the airstrip because the plane is two hours late, and there is no place to sit down except on the ground, and the mobile phones (cell phones) aren’t working that day because of a problem at the tower, so you can’t get in touch with the hangar to find out whether the plane is going to come, or not? Yes.
In everything give thanks. That is not as easy to do as it is to say. But we are grateful to God for His abundant blessings even in the midst of all the trying circumstances. Even in the midst of testings and tears, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. We are thankful that God’s Word does not change, and that we can always count on God to be faithful. His mercies are new every morning, and they endure forever.
But then, can we give thanks for all things too? That’s what Ephesians 5:20 tells us to do: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That is a little bit harder. But we can give thanks for all these things. We are thankful that the Lord has used all these things, and more, in our lives to teach us to depend more fully on Him and less on ourselves, and to help draw us closer together too .