As we are in the spirit of thanksgiving, and being encouraged always to be, a biblical attitude that honors and edifies the Lord God, our Creator, Giver and Sustainer of life, we are being advised today to have proper understanding if not yet. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 said, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” The preposition “In” is very important to note because it doesn’t say or mean “for” which would have given the whole verse a completely different meaning and implication. We don’t thank God for our sin or sinful life-style or evil because it is contrary to the nature and will of God. However, in every situation we find ourselves, whether good or bad, we are to be thankful to God counting our blessing. In James 1:17, we are told, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of light, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow”.
On the other hand, we all sometimes find ourselves in some bad or painful situation because of the sinful nature and evil in the world. We may or may not be able to understand or explain how we find ourselves in such a mess. Certainly, God is not the Author of evil, but because He is all powerful God, He has power and control over everything. As people of faith in Him, we know that God is always with us; He is ever present, all knowing, all powerful and nothing is hidden from Him (Psalm 139: 1-14). While God may allow us to go through some situations, that which we call permissive will of God, His protective shield is with us like the case of biblical, righteous Job. Besides, God in His wisdom and love for us, has reasons why He allows us to go through certain situations. It could be to get our attention if and when straying, or to prepare us for some future situations of ourselves and others, or to mature us in a closer relationship with Him. (2 Corin 1:3-4; James 1:2-4). As we thank God in every situation according to His will, we are promised that everything works together for good to those who love Him to those called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). It is in our best interest to form and practice the spirit of gratitude to God at all times. Henry Becher said, “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour some heavenly blessings.” And Albert Barnes said, “We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.” – Dr. Johnson Omoni