In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 the Apostle Paul writes,
” . . .give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
A few brief observations:
1. This may sound strange, but this is a command. God requires us to give thanks to Him. It is our duty to do so. That being the case, we must have a great deal to be thankful for that we have received from the hand of God. He would not require us to be thankful for no reason.
2. The command/imperative (“give thanks”) is in the present tense, so this giving of thanks is to be an ongoing, continual thing. It could also be translated, “be giving thanks.”
3. We are to give thanks “in all circumstances” (ESV). This could also be translated as “in all things.” This means that we must see the hand of God in all things. So a high view of the providence of God is really a prerequisite for being able to give thanks in all things. In other words, an ungrateful Calvinist is a contradiction in terms.
Commenting on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, John Calvin writes,
The man who does not think so highly of the righteousness of Christ and the hope of eternal life that he rejoices in the midst of sorrow is exceedingly ungrateful to God.
Christians, above all others, should be exceedingly thankful people.
Just something to consider as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.