Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This can be at times a difficult passage. In verses 16-17 we read, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17. What Paul is saying here is our joy should be because we have God watching over us and living within us. It should not be based on our situation or our temporal feeling. And with this, we should be praying constantly to our loving God. The one who created us and saved us. The one who guides us in every way that He desires us to go. And we should trust His guidance that goes where He leads us.
And then we come to our focus verse. “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Why can this be a difficult verse? Because sometimes our situation can be less than positive. Who wants to experience tribulation? Not many I know. However, Paul writes to the Roman church the following, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2. As Christians, having been justified, we have peace with God. Our relationship has been restored and we exult in the hope we have for now and our future. However, next he speaks of how we should be regarding tribulation. “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5. What we need to understand is that we must trust Him in all things, even in trials and tribulations. Notice, tribulation brings perseverance, which then brings proven character, which brings hope. And hope does not disappoint, because we know that He who stood with us in past days, will support us in future days.
Because of the above string from tribulation to hope, we see the why of one of the more popular verses in Romans. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. God will bring a good out of everything for all who love God. Look at all the old testament stories of tribulation that brought about good, as an example, Ruth. Her husband died, she left her home to go with Ruth, suffered much, but God was with her and she gave birth to Obed whose line brought first David, King of Israel, and ultimately Jesus, the son of God.
It is hard to go through tribulation. But we also must understand that God knows all things. “Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;” Isaiah 46:10 Nothing happens that God did not know would happen. There is nothing that surprises God. And with this, and the fact that all things work toward our good, then we have reason to give thanks to God in everything. We must see tribulation as a means to bring about some good. And allowing God to use us in bringing about good is God’s will for us.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.