"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In this beautiful passage, we see several important things that are worthy of consideration. First, it is God's will that we give thanks, "in everything" whether good or bad. We need to be a thankful people. If you are searching out the will of God in the Bible, you might wish to begin here, and begin to give thanks for everything you can think of, but let us look closely at the five questions that are answered here:
In what? In everything;
Do what? Give thanks;
Why? It is the will of God;
In Whom? In Christ Jesus;
Concerning who? Concerning you.
Furthermore, the "This" that we are to give thanks for, whether a good thing or event, or a bad one, may be the will of God for us! If "this" refers to that which we are to thank Him for, then the verse says that it is the will of God that this thing should happen. If "this" means the giving of thanks, then we see that that too is God's will, that we be thankful. Either way, God is glorified.
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:5-7
Here lies the key to our being able to be able to "in everything give thanks." The key is to do so "in the Lord alway:" God doesn't ask us to rejoice in or give thanks for a tragic, complicated or grief-stricken circumstance. Rather, God says we are to give thanks for how He is going to work in that circumstance and rejoice "in the Lord" as we walk through it.
Some folks may say, "This is NOT possible in MY circumstance!" And I say to those folks, "Yes it is." Let us remember that all things are possible with God and He gives us His strength--through Christ--which strengthens me. It is when we try to endure in our own strength that we fail to have the ability to thank God and rejoice in the Lord in the valleys of our life. God has ordered some really deep valleys in my life and I assure you this is true.