Paul tells the Thessalonian church to ‘give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thess 5:18) He goes even further to the Ephesian church, telling them to give thanks ‘to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Eph 5:20) It’s clear that thankfulness is hugely important to those who follow Jesus.
How can we do this? How can we give thanks when our world seems to be falling apart? How can we give thanks when there is so much poverty, suffering and injustice around us? The only way we can do this is to realise that God is good and He will work for the good of those who are called by Him (see Psalm 119:68, Romans 8:28). The Bible has much to say about suffering and sorrow, but it also affirms that God’s plans can’t be thwarted, and that history will culminate in a time when there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain. (Revelation 21:4) It is because of this hope that we can give thanks, no matter what.