“Give thanks in all circumstances…” 1Thessalonians 5:18
Make sure you are reading this right. Paul, who wrote this, is not saying that we should give thanks for all circumstances but to give thanks in all circumstances.
Be careful when you simply say, “everything happens for a reason” because not everything that happens to you comes from God. Sometimes things happen in our lives as a result of sin and sometimes things happen because of evil in our world. But when bad things happen we can be thankful for God’s constant presence in our lives as well as the fact that regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, or why things happen, we can be thankful that God is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28).
In this world it is easy for me to slip into comparing myself to others and feeling like I don’t have as much, yet the reality is, I have a lot to be thankful for. When I am struggling with thankfulness, the Lord often reminds me of my trip to Rwanda, Africa. I remember very specifically this boy with only an old t-shirt which he used to cover himself, because he didn’t have shorts or pants or even underwear. Yet, even though he basically had nothing, he was one of the happiest and loving kids I have ever met. Compared to him, I am a spoiled brat.
Regardless of who you are comparing yourself to, as a believer in Christ, you have been given life, love, and a God who relentlessly pursues you even when you are not pursuing Him. Be grateful your sins are not counted against you. He has removed them “as far as the east is from the west.” With all the craziness and destruction around you, be thankful that this is not your permanent home. Jesus is preparing a place for you.
Spend some time confessing to the Lord where you you have been a spoiled brat. Now spend some more time giving thanks to Him for who He is and what He has done for you and what He is doing in you.