How can we give thanks in all things?

By Melissa McLaughlin

Have you ever had one of those days when things went from bad to worse?

I recall the time we went camping only to discover, hour by hour, the items we forgot to pack. After setting up the tent, which always seemed to bring forth an argument about which pole goes where, we started to cook dinner and realized we had not packed a spatula to turn the hamburgers over the fire pit or remove from the fire when done. This would be an interesting dinner. When it was time for bed we realized we had not packed pillows or sleeping bags. Rolled up jeans underneath your head can only do so much. The list went on! That poorly planned trip is an amusing memory now, but at the time, each part of the trip yielded a new frustration.

Though this is a lighthearted example, our real life experiences can be painful, heartbreaking and life-altering.

The job loss.

The terminal illness.

The relationship collapse.

The death of a loved one.

The violence in our land.

The catastrophic storm.

The list goes on.

How can we be thankful for such things? Yes, we can always thank God for the circumstances that draw us closer to Him. But sometimes that is the only redeeming element to be found.

If we can’t give thanks to God for all things, how can we give thanks to God IN all things?

But a flash

And the weariness of this world

Has chipped another shard

From my tattered, worn

Earthen heart

How I long for a glance

A moment of grace

A tender glimmer

A lifting

the tears fall

the blood trickles

the heart wilts

Through hazy thick fog

A brightness beams

My eyes fix on One

One who knows

One who sees

One who walked these dusty roads

and felt this pulsing pain

One who knows my darkest places

One who carries my deepest evil

One who loves me still

Who hoisted my sin-soaked burden

And heaved it onto His own whip-lashed back


though the way grows dreary

though the world grows thin

though my steps may falter

and life ebbs away

The One who made all things

Makes all things new!

The Potter’s hands are shaping still

Though black be the shadows

And dawn seems lost


The Light of all Light has come!

We may find it difficult to give thanks FOR all things,

Yet because of Jesus we can give thanks IN all things!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Additional Resources:

Will You Take the Paper Gratitude Challenge? By Melissa McLaughlin

Powerful Prayer Tool – Praising Over Pleading By Melissa McLaughlin

The Joy of Brokenhearted Praise By Melissa McLaughlin

26 thoughts on “How can we give thanks in all things?”

  1. I loved your thoughts and the beauty your words conjure within my soul. I want to be deeply thankful always, even in the difficult circumstances. Thanks Melissa and God bless.

    • Dear Yvonne, yes, yes, yes. This is my prayer, too. That I may be deeply thankful always, even in the difficult times. May our eyes be ever locked in on Jesus, for one look at Him and the rest fades into the background. God bless you, dear sister!

  2. Giving thanks at all times can be hard, especially at difficult times. Yet, we are blessed to know God is with us and loves us in all circumstances. Yes, give thanks with a grateful heart, at all times. Happy Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Your poem is so moving! You, my dear friend, are a bona fide poet. Please seek wider publication for that poem. It is so moving, and it says exactly what we need to hear when we’re in those moments of despair and chaos and loss. Well said, sister. Well said.

    • Glory to God! Thank you for the kind words of encouragement and support, Melinda. That means so much to me, especially coming from you, a gifted writer and sister in faith. May we keep shifting our gaze to Christ, moment by moment, for His glory shines even brighter in the dark times. Bless you!

  4. “One who loves me still” รขโ‚ฌโ€ that was my favorite line! To know we can grow weary, frustrated and even sinful, and in the midst of all that, God loves us still. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post with us!

  5. Hi Melissa,
    What a joy to be here today again. ๐Ÿ™‚
    What a soothing experience you share!
    Yes, very thought provoking questions you put forward.
    Yes, how can we abstain from giving thanks to this Savior?
    I am reminded of this famous song.
    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
    Because He lives, all fear is gone
    Because I know He holds the future
    And life is worth the living, just because He lives
    Thanks for the thought-provoking and serious alert/reminder you made.
    Best Regards
    Philip V Ariel

    • Hello Philip V Ariel, thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I love that song, too! Because He Lives is a perfect connection to this message. Jesus gives us hope for tomorrow that helps us live in hope today. God bless you and yours!

    • It’s true, Linda! We are broken pots made new again and again in the hands of the Great Potter and Healer, the Lord Jesus. When all else has fallen, the love of Christ stands forever. Blessings to you, dear sister!

  6. Amen! I wrote a similar post. Yes, we may not like what is happening in our lives, but we know that God is good and He uses even the hardships we experience to mold us still. In Him all things do work for our good and His glory, even if we don’t initially recognize it. I loved the poem, Melissa!

    • Thank you, Marcie! Glory to God! Oh, I love it when the Holy Spirit puts the same message on different hearts to be shared from different vantage points. I look forward to reading your post on this topic. God’s glory and our good, knowing that God is interested in the right now AND the eternal. May we maintain that heavenly mindset, as well. Bless you!

  7. Such a beautiful poem, Melissa! Wow! Love it! We often wonder “how to” give thanks “in” all things when we can’t give thanks “for” all things.

    Love these thoughts:

    “The One who made all things
    Makes all things new!
    The Potter’s hands are shaping still….”


    • Thank you, Karen, for your encouraging words! Glory to God, the Giver of gifts and words! May we continue to point one another to Christ day by day, moment by moment, that the joy of our salvation outshines any hardship or sorrow!

    • Thank you for reading and offering a word of encouragement, Tom! A word of thanks or kindness can carry one a long, long way. When we shift our focus to Jesus, our hearts can overflow with thanksgiving. No matter what else is happening. Jesus is that good!


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