“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)

As the Thanksgiving season quickly approaches we often find ourselves reflecting on, and being thankful for the good things in our lives; our blessings. Take for instance a warm spring breeze, the sound of waves gently crashing on the beach, the safe arrival of a healthy baby…the list could go on and on. While we find it so easy to be thankful for those blessings, what about for those things that don’t seem like blessings at all? What about when we are faced with things like financial difficulties, illness, or the loss of a loved one? Can we be thankful for those things as well? The answer is yes, and in fact not only can we be thankful, we should be thankful in those circumstances as well.

We may not understand the why behind the circumstances, but we can find comfort in the fact that God says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). While these times may be difficult, these experiences often have wrapped up within themselves life’s richest blessings. Look back on the lives of some of the most prominent people from the Bible…Moses was left floating aimlessly down the Nile in a basket, Daniel was placed in a den of voracious lions, David was faced with a literal giant to kill, Mary became pregnant before she was married and not by her fiance. These things on the surface looked awful, yet wrapped up within each one was an amazing blessing. More modern examples include Fanny Crosby’s blessings coming through blindness, Beethoven’s through deafness, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s through imprisonment. Or what about the greatest blessing of all...Jesus’ death. In no way did this look like a blessing at the time, but oh what a blessing it was!

Let us search for the hidden blessing of every experience, good or bad, and “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).