Paul says: "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As our family prepares for Thanksgiving next week, I couldn't help reflecting on these words.
Give thanks IN all circumstances.
Giving thanks FOR all circumstances is how I think many people read this verse. They seem to think that God has just zapped them with another thunderbolt when they've become too comfortable, and they must thank God for His action, like a child thanks (?) a parent for a spanking. God is seen as the cause of the trouble, whatever it may be.
But as I meditated on this verse, and having learned a very little about the character of God from His word, I don't think this is right. The Lord is a loving God who walks with us through problems. He doesn't zap, and He doesn't scold. Bad circumstances are overcome by His love that sustains. I believe the Lord weeps with us in our sorrows.
Yes, He permits bad things to happen, but everything is filtered through His loving care and perfect knowledge of all that will come of these things, not only in this life but in the next. We give thanks IN all circumstances, because no matter how bad it is, the Lord still reigns.
In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm pulling out favorite recipes. Here's one that my daughter, especially, enjoys.
Peanut Butter Cookies
1/2 cup oil (or margarine or butter)
1/2 cup (crunchy) peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Blend oil, peanut butter, sugars, and egg until smooth. Sift and add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Refrigerate dough for an hour. Oven 375F. Roll into small balls, then flatten crossways with a fork. Bake 10-12 minutes.
NOTE: Instead of refrigerating and rolling, I usually just drop the dough onto the cookie sheets as soon as it's mixed. It works fine. I hate getting my hands greasy :-)
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