In All Circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Recommended Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5
Thanksgiving is such a great idea for a holiday. You get together with family, which is cool and all, but let’s be honest. Thanksgiving is all about the food. Turkey, Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Rolls, Corn, Stuffing, I can go on and on. It’s just so cool that there’s a holiday that’s only about food!

Wait. It’s not just about food?

Well. This is embarrassing.

When I was young, I would get so excited for Thanksgiving because I just loved being able to eat a ton of food and have little judgement. There was usually so much food that we would have leftovers for a few days and that was so great. Leftover Thanksgiving food is better than regular leftovers. As I got older and found out that Thanksgiving was more than just food, I can’t say that I wasn’t a little disappointed. But hey, at least there’s still food.

As Americans we have a habit of focusing on the wrong things. With Thanksgiving, we love to focus on the food. It’s important, and that’s not our sole focus, but it can be easy to get caught up in the planning and execution of the meal to remember to be thankful and focus on being with family. Some families are frustrating at Thanksgiving, that can certainly get in the way too. Christmas is very much the same way, sometimes we focus more on getting gifts rather than giving gifts.

This year has been a big shift for a lot of people, and holidays are going to be different. Thanksgiving, in many ways, will be unlike any other we’ve had in recent history. Because of every challenge and hardship we have faced this year, giving thanks can be hard to do. But it’s more vital now than ever! How often do we focus on the negative aspects of this year? Lockdowns, sickness, and social distancing has kept us away from family and friends for a majority of the year. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of things about which to be thankful.

In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul is reminding the Thessalonian church to focus on the right things. He’s reminding them that there is more that we are called to as followers of Christ and in verses 16-18 he reminds them – and us – to be continually in prayer, rejoicing, and thankfulness. This year has been a challenge, but as we move into Thanksgiving, we should be reminded that we have a lot to be Thankful for in Christ. Let’s focus on what’s important this Thanksgiving season!

Philip Wines, November 24, 2020
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