Giving Thanks in All Circumstances

giving thanks in all circumstances
Giving Thanks in All Circumstances

We are to give thanks in ALL cirumstances.  This includes the time of suffering, as we are guaranteed in this life.

How? How to give thanks during this season?

If you are visiting my page, you are likely going through family changes that evoke nothing but pain, sadness and anger.

I have never been through divorce, but I have been with people who are going through divorce for over 23 years, and I don’t have any human words that will take away the pain.  So I give you Scripture, the words of Jesus.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Scripture and Life

Scripture was meant to be read aloud.

In the dark times, Bible verses soothe and comfort us, not because they are empty human words, but because they are from God.  God’s words will not return void.  They have purpose and power.

“…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  Isaiah 55:11

Scripture gives life.  In the darkness, what else can we cling to, but the hope of tomorrow?

The hope of light.

Jars of Clay

Read this aloud.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;”

This beautiful verse comes from 2 Corinthians 4.

It reminds us we are clay jars, meant to break under harsh circumstances.  However, because Christ’s power is in us, we are never broken.

That resurrection power that brought Christ back from the dead is what lives in us.  This strength belongs to God almighty, not us and because of Him, we are victorious!

“because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4


Scripture is found everywhere.  In Hallmark cards, in Confucius quotes.  This pagan world is full of plagiarism from Scripture.

Indeed, Scripture soothes and benefits my clients, whether or not they know it!

And so, we can rejoice in all circumstances. Even in the pain of death and divorce.

There is great hope even in wretched creatures like fleas.

Giving Thanks For the Fleas

Corrie Ten Boom, her sister Betsie, and other family members were Christians, imprisoned by the Nazis for hiding Jews in their home in Holland.  Their story is told in a book called The Hiding Place.

While imprisoned in a claustrophic little room infested with fleas, these brave women found a way to praise God and bring others to Christ.

Learn from these women and give thanks for your situation!

Chapter 13 Ravensbruck

The deck above us was too close to let us sit up. We lay back, struggling against the nausea that swept over us from the reeking straw…Suddenly I sat up, striking my head on the cross-slats above. Something had pinched my leg.

‘Fleas!’ I cried. ‘Betsie, the place is swarming with them!

We scrambled across the intervening platforms, heads low to avoid another bump, dropped down to the aisle and hedged our way to a patch of light.

“‘Here! And here another one!‘ I wailed. ‘Betsie, how can we live in such a place!’

“‘Show us. Show us how.

It was said so matter of factly it took me a second to realize she was praying. More and more the distinction between prayer and the rest of life seemed to be vanishing for Betsie.

“‘Corrie!’ she said excitedly. ‘He’s given us the answer! Before we asked, as He always does! In the Bible this morning. Where was it? Read that part again!’

I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight, then drew the Bible from its pouch. ‘It was in First Thessalonians,‘ I said. We were on our third complete reading of the New Testament since leaving Scheveningen.

In the feeble light I turned the pages. ‘Here it is: “Comfort the frightened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all…’” It seemed written expressly to Ravensbruck.

‘Go on,‘ said Betsie. ‘That wasn’t all.

‘Oh yes:’…”Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.‘”

“‘That’s it, Corrie! That’s His answer. “Give thanks in all circumstances!” That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!‘ I stared at her; then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.

‘Such as?’ I said.

“‘Such as being assigned here together.’

I bit my lip. ‘Oh yes, Lord Jesus!’

“‘Such as what you’re holding in your hands.’  I looked down at the Bible.

“‘Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all these women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages.’

‘Yes,’ said Betsie, ‘Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!’ She looked at me expectantly. ‘Corrie!‘ she prodded.

‘Oh, all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed suffocating crowds.’

“‘Thank You,’ Betsie went on serenely, ‘for the fleas and for–‘

The fleas! This was too much. ‘Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.’

‘Give thanks in all circumstances,’ she quoted. It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.

And so we stood between tiers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas.  But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong.

Rejoicing in Suffering

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

God is Sovereign; His Plan is Perfect

Bad things happen in this world.  Jesus promised they would in John 16:33 3 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

All the evil in this world due to sin is WHY we need Jesus.  It is WHY Jesus came.

As for the fleas?  In the next few pages, their purpose was revealed.

One afternoon, there was a conflict in the barracks and they asked the guards to come in and settle it. But those guards would not step through the door, and Betsie immediately recognized why and couldn’t wait to share it with Corrie.

Thank you, Fleas

One evening when Corrie arrived back at the barracks Betsie’s eyes were twinkling. “You’re looking extraordinarily pleased with yourself,” Corrie told her.

You know we’ve never understood why we had so much freedom in the big room,” Betsie said, referring to the part of the barracks where the sleeping platforms were. “Well—I’ve found out. This afternoon there was confusion in my knitting group about sock sizes, so we asked the supervisor to come and settle it. But she wouldn’t. She wouldn’t step through the door and neither would the guards. And you know why?” Betsie could not keep the triumph from her voice as she exclaimed, “Because of the fleas! That’s what she said: ‘That place is crawling with fleas!’ ”

Corrie’s mind raced back to their first hour in the barracks. She remembered Betsie bowing her head and thanking God for creatures that Corrie could see no use for.

May Your Heart OverFlow With Gratitude

This Thanksgiving, I hope you will give thanks for the fleas in your life.  Stay rooted in Christ and my your hearts overflow with thanksgiving.

If you can’t find a way to be grateful, ask God to show you, as Betsie did.

“Show us!  Show us how.”

Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart

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