Be Thankful... In All Circumstances

Welcome to Real Life. It’s November, the month of Thanksgiving.

I was young, only married a year, when my first husband left. When I told my mother, she cradled my hands in her own and said, “Peggi, we’re supposed to thank God in all things.” Then, she prayed and thanked God.

Definitely not the reaction I expected! 

God had prepared my mother's heart. She had been reading a book on praise and thanksgiving.[1] I felt immense relief at her reaction. Even a bit hopeful. And I sure did love my mom in that moment. She taught me the power of giving thanks . . . in all circumstances.
Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NLT 
A thankful person is conscious of a benefit received.[2] Everything we have—life, breath, strength—are God’s gifts.[3] Let’s recognize them and be grateful.

It’s easy to give thanks for good things—sunshine, friends, weekends. Being thankful in all circumstances is not so easy. Yet it’s God’s will. My mother did not give thanks in the spirit of, “Thank God the jerk left!” Not at all. My family loved the man. She gave thanks in obedience to God's will.

Thankfulness, especially in difficult circumstances, expresses faith. Perhaps that's why it's God's will. It confirms our belief he can (and will) use everything for our good. Because that’s who our God is. He weaves even horrible circumstances into the beautiful redemption story he's writing in our hearts. A husband’s abandonment transformed into a cherished memory of a mother’s thankfulness.
So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.
Romans 8:28 The Passion Translation
To better appreciate thankfulness, let’s consider the opposite—ingratitude. Have you ever worked hard and long for someone who failed to recognize it? Or worse, they criticized your efforts? Ouch! Ingratitude stings. Our God left heaven’s glory, put on flesh, and shed his blood for us. Ingratitude hurts the heart of God.

God has richly blessed us! This month of Thanksgiving, let's be intentionally grateful. Write a card. Make a call. Whisper many prayers of thankfulness . . . in all circumstances!

A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received
Is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God.
It prevails with Him unspeakably.
–John Bunyan

Dear Father-God,
Thank you for life and love and family.
And above all, thank you for saving us!
Give us grateful hearts, even in difficulties.
For we believe you can and will bring beauty from ashes!
In Jesus' name. Amen.

[1] Clap Your Hands by Larry Tomczak
[3] James 1:17

Thanksgiving table image: by Monmart at

Adapted from my message at Grace Church's Simply a Day Away Women's Retreat, October 20, 2018.


  1. You never know when a post will be exactly what someone needs to hear. This is that post for me! I don't know'd think it would be natural. November=thankful.

    1. Wow! That's so encouraging to hear, Kelly. Thanks for sharing!


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