“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you“
in everything give thanks;
We can give thanks “in everything” because we know that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). God ordains adversity as well as prosperity. Every circumstance that comes our way is from God. Failure to accept this as true is an indication of skepticism about God’s plan for the universe. We can give thanks for everything because God is in control.
We give thanks for everything that comes into our lives because it comes by the will of God.
There is a difference between giving thanks “for” everything and “in” everything. If we gave thanks “for” everything, that would mean that we give thanks for the Devil and his plan for the world!
Neither do we give thanks necessarily “after” everything. It does not require much faith to trace the hand of God with the benefit of hindsight. However, it takes faith to accept one’s lot with gratitude in the midst of circumstances.
“…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Ephesians 5:20).
This passage in Ephesians is more powerful than our verse in Thessalonians. We are to give thanks always for all things. When the police call and tell you that your son is in jail, it is difficult to give thanks for that. But we need to have the attitude of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:18,
“Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, ‘It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him.’
Whatever comes in our lives comes in by the will of God; otherwise, He would prevent it. God mixes with His divine compound the bitter and the sweet, the good and the bad, in appropriate proportions so that they work together for good. God knows just the right amount of sunshine and rain. He measures out these things with great precision.