“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Maybe you’ve heard believers, and maybe you’ve even been one who questioned whether God really meant “everything” in this verse. “Maybe He just meant give thanks in most things; surely He wouldn’t ask me to give thanks in my tragedy, would He?”
Consolet-Rwanda Genocide Survivor
At our testimony time in Rwanda, Consolet, a widow, stood and very politely shared her story of the horrors of the 1994 genocide in her country where she was forced to watch her family being slaughtered with machetes, then herself raped and thrown in the river to drown, she now suffers from AIDS, an intentional extension of the humiliation inflicted on women during this war that ravaged their country. She also shared “our people thought genocide was too big even for God.” But she went on to state that in 2003 some people came through their area and told them about Jesus and she was saved. At the end of her testimony, she made this profound statement: “On the days when I have nothing to eat, I thank God that this day I can declare as a fast unto Him.”
Did you hear it? “I thank God when I have no food!” And with that she was also saying, “I thank God that He didn’t stop genocide and now I am saved!” Every trip to Africa I come back having learned much more than I taught. Even without a Bible, this dear Sister really gets it – our circumstances in light of the cross are nothing! Without Christ Jesus though, people will think their problems are too big even for God. But looking back with her new heart, Consolet understood God used even genocide to bring her to His salvation.
So yes, the intention for all who believe is that we give thanks in our “everything”, knowing that it is God’s will, and with a thankful heart, tell others about Christ Jesus.
Dee WarrenShort Term Missionary to Africa