October 29, 2012

In Everything Give Thanks? - Ruth L. Snyder

As I write, my heart is heavy. Yesterday morning (October 25) in a community less than 50 kilometres from where I live, a van smashed through a fence and a window/wall into a school, pinning three grade 6 students underneath it. Five other students were also injured. The three girls were removed from underneath the van, pronounced to be in critical condition, and flown by STARS to Edmonton. Today one of the girls died. Police are still investigating the incident. Here's a report from the Edmonton Journal.

The Apostle Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:18, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (KJV) When tragedy strikes, giving thanks is usually the last thing on our minds. After all, there seems little to be thankful for, at least from a human perspective. Perhaps some other Scripture verses can shed light for us.

• Psalm 50:23 "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” (ESV)

• Hebrews 13:15 "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that confess his name." (NIV)

• Psalm 107:22 "Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, And tell of His works with joyful singing." (NASB)

In her latest post, Lynn Dove reminded us that thanksgiving is a choice. It's easy for us to be thankful for things we like - obedient children, finding a beautiful dress on sale, hearing the birds sing, warm sunny days, etc. However, Scripture seems to indicate that when we choose to offer thanks during difficult times, we are actually worshipping God - offering him a "sacrifice of thanksgiving."

God doesn't expect us to thank Him for the tragic death of a young girl. However, we can thank Him for the following:

• God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Events do not change God’s character.

• God is with us and walks with us through the difficult times ("When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2 NIV)

• God hears our prayers, even when we don't know how to pray. ("In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26 NIV)

• God will work all things out for His glory ("And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28 NLT)

Today I'm choosing to give thanks. It's a choice that will bring honour to God. Do you agree?

Ruth L. Snyder
www.trusteesnyder.blogspot.com (Education information)
www.ruthlsnyder.com (Ruth's writing and family life)
www.earlyyearssuccess.com (Information for caregivers of children ages 0-5)
Follow Ruth on Twitter:www.twitter.com/@wwjdr


  1. What a tragedy to lose a young girl in grade 6 in an accident like this and to have a few more fighting to survive. Thankfulness is the last thing that would come to the mind of those close to these children. Yet with time and God's strength, I pray that they too might begin to give thanks and praise to God.

  2. I don't even want to think about what these families are going through. Thanks for sharing your heart and reminding us to be thankful regardless of the circumstances. It's definitely not always easy because we get distressed when we look around us, but God is always worthy of our praise and gratitude.

  3. Thanks for your comments, ladies. These times of tragedy are difficult, but times when our faith can shine. When we are able, by God's grace, to make choices that we wouldn't naturally make, people take note and start asking questions.

  4. I heard about this tragedy on the news. As you said, we don't thank God for the tragedy but recognize His sovereignty... It's why we are to be ready because you just never know what each day will bring.

  5. I was saddened to hear about this. You have a good perspective on it, though, and like you said - others will notice when we trust God in difficult times.

    Pam Mytroen


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