Prepositions matter! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances.” I’m really glad the command isn’t to “give thanks for all circumstances.” There are lots of things I cannot and even should not give thanks for this year, but in the midst of 2020 we can and must give thanks. Why? Because God is in the midst of all of it and he is over all of it, working for our good.
I was in a meeting this week with our partners from Pars, the organization raising up and training leaders for the Iranian Church, and in that meeting they framed their report around Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and the opening line about how it was “the best of times. It was the worst of times.” They talked about how 2020 has been the worst of times and then they said that, while they couldn’t call 2020 the best of times, they did see in the year “an invitation.” That was profound for me and helped me see better how I can give thanks in 2020. You see, in 2020 God is at work and he has invited us to join him in that work—and it starts by giving thanks.