The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." You may ask the question, everything? Yes, everything!
There are countless reasons for us to be thankful, yet many find it difficult to have a grateful heart due to life's disappointments. Yet there are others whose outlook on life is just the opposite because of their attitude of gratefulness. These dear ones have not lost their hope, trust and confidence in God in spite of their losses.
Life can be challenging at times, but if we focus on the promises of God and remember the words written in Romans 8:28, we won’t lose hope. It tells us that all things will work out for good for those who love God, and are called according to His purpose. You see, God can take the worse of circumstances and cause them to work out for our good and His glory.
Such is the case of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who was imprisoned during World War II along with her entire family for helping the Jews escape the Nazis. During their imprisonment Corrie and her Sister Betsy were kept in the Nazi concentration camp Ravensbruck, a crowded flea-infested place. Through the grace of God Bibles were smuggled into the camp, and they read the scripture found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that says, "In everything give thanks." Betsy concluded that it meant they should thank God for the fleas. Corrie, although initially reluctant joined in with Betsy thanking God for the fleas. After several months they noticed that the guards were no longer entering their barracks to assault and hurt them. This gave them the freedom to hold open Bible studies and prayer meetings in their barracks in spite of being in the center of a Nazi concentration camp. Many women came to faith and trust in Christ through their meetings. Much later they discovered why the guards had left them alone and would not enter their barracks. It was because of the fleas!
In December of 1944 Corrie ten Boom was released from prison due to a clerical error. After learning about the reason for her release she said, "God does not have problems—only plans."
Sisters and brothers, regardless to what you may be going through at this moment, in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us.
Elder Shirley Freeman