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Thanksgiving: How About When There is No Reason?

Thanksgiving: How About When There is No Reason?When do you say thanks? And why? You know, this is the month when in the US and other places we celebrate Thanksgiving. Already, some people are challenging friends to a certain number of days on which to express gratitude. Indeed, we should give thanks in general and to God in particular. But, here’s the question? Do you give thanks to God only when there is a reason? Or, do you give thanks when there is no reason?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

What Does it Mean to Give Thanks When There Is No Reason?

There’s more than one way that you can look at this. You know, sometimes a person says that they are giving God thanks in spite of their situation. You may even say this yourself. You say it when life is tough. In some ways, what you’re also saying is that you will not let the situation dictate your outlook. While you are going through it, you will look past it and be thankful.

There is another way of looking at giving thanks when there is not reason. It is this: you are giving thanks for whatever you are going through.  You are staring the situation in the face and saying, “thank you,” for it. This runs counter to how many people see life and the advice that many will give you. Yet, it is possible. I have personally found it to be liberating, as difficult as it is.

Fair Weather Thanksgiving

It is easy to give thanks when everything is going well. That type of fair weather thanksgiving doesn’t require anything of you. However, to give thanks when everything is going wrong, when it seems that there is no reason, requires more. Indeed, it often requires God’s grace and strength to give thanks from the heart at that time.

Giving Thanks in All Circumstances

1 Thessalonians 5:18 makes it clear that God wants you to be thankful in any and every situation. When you think about it, the Thessalonian Christians must have had their ups and downs. The book, 1 Thessalonians, even makes reference to persecution. It was not an easy time. Yet, those Christians were called upon to give thanks in all circumstances.

The call to “give thanks in all circumstances” was not put forward as something out of the ordinary. Rather, it was put forward along with a set of miscellaneous admonitions about attitude and actions; attitudes and actions such as praying all the time and rejoicing.

Sometimes, there will be obvious reasons to give thanks. At other times, it will seem as if there is no reason to give thanks. However, when you follow what God wants and give thanks, you win. Why?

You win because the focus is no longer on you or your situation, but on the God whom you’re thanking. As you shift your focus, you make space for God to show you the way forward, and for God to act.  Even more than that, when you give thanks when there is no obvious reason to do so, you’re doing what God wants. When you do what God wants, you will always win.

Is there no reason to give thanks? Give thanks anyway.

Experience God more fully through honest, surrendered heart praying and live with greater clarity and peace.

Photo credit: EME of

Thanksgiving: How About When There is No Reason?
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