“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
To give thanks in every situation is sometimes very difficult. When your body is wracked with pain, or you have just learned that you have a physical problem for which there is no cure, or you have lost your job, or a cherished relationship has been broken, it’s hard to feel grateful. But we can learn to thank God because He gives us strength when we feel weak.
That’s why Paul could say, “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.” And as believers, we can be grateful that through such experiences God is accomplishing what is best for us. Even through our suffering, He is working for our good (Romans 8:28).
Scottish author and preacher George Matheson, who was blind, expressed this prayer:
“I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my ‘thorn’ . . . . Teach me the glory of my cross; teach me the value of my ‘thorn.’ Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow.”
As we surrender ourselves to the Lord and remember that He is working in everything to accomplish our ultimate good, we can thank Him even when we are pierced by “thorns.”