Read 1 Thessalonians 5:18
18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (NLT)
It is so easy to divide our world into the categories of ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’. And then to run a mile from the secular and seek God and seek meaning only in the sacred. This is to misunderstand the nature of our created world. God made it and called it good. Certainly we have spoilt it but that doesn’t mean there is nothing we can enjoy in it.
Such a misunderstanding can cause us to overlook God at work in very mundane ways in our everyday world. Our text reminds us that we are to give thanks in all circumstances. First, we need to stress that Paul isn’t urging us to be thankful ‘for’ every circumstance. That would mean we are to be thankful for evil and for things that displease God.
Rather we are thankful ‘in’ all circumstances, meaning that irrespective of our situation we look for God’s blessings. And these can take rather ‘ordinary’ forms. A cup of coffee with a friend, an early night, an absorbing movie, a flowering shrub, a chocolate bar, a distant glimpse of the ocean. And the list can go on.
Beware of missing out on God in the so-called ordinary events of life and assuming he only turns up in certain more ‘spiritual’ situations. He is ever present in the world he made and his blessings are constant even if sometimes veiled. His presence in all circumstances means we can be thankful in all circumstances.