1 Thessalonians 5:18
Every time I read this scripture, I wonder whether there must have been the equivalent of a typo in some ancient manuscript. But Paul does not seem to give any restrictions. He says we are to give thanks in, not some, but in "all" circumstances.
But Paul does not tell that believers to give thanks _for_ everything that happens: For some, giving thanks "in" and not "for" is a distinction without a difference.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Many will gather with families and loved ones to feast and give, well, thanks. Seems pretty consistent with Paul's scripture, doesn't it? I'm not so sure: I have been especially sensitized to Paul's admonition to the church at Thessalonica in the aftermath of the typhoon in the Philippines. As of the time of this writing, 1,000,000 persons have no shelter; over five thousand persons are deceased or missing and presumed dead.
Give thanks? That's what we are expected to do on Thanksgiving, right? But I don't give thanks _for_ this natural disaster. I give thanks for the compassion of strangers: persons who have donated their time, talents and treasures to help those on the other side of the world. I give thanks for scientists who have a renewed commitment to reversing the effects of climate change. I give thanks for that cup of cold water from a volunteer; that penny from a broken piggy bank; that tear shed in front of the television screen.
I give thanks in circumstances that show me a world that cares.