Now that we've shared our Thanksgiving day celebrations, let us remember that giving thanks is an ongoing habit that we should develop. As Christians, our very goal is to understand and know what God's will is. Quite clearly, He says it here in this verse... be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you.
If we know that God is sovereign, in control of all things and He is good beyond measure and if we trust Him as we say we do, then we should be able to be joyful and give thanks no matter what comes our way. I'm not saying we should be laughing or happy in the midst of tragedy. I'm also not saying we need to be happy and giving thanks FOR the tragedy. What this is saying is while IN whatever circumstance that comes our way, it is God's will that we trust Him through these situations. As we trust Him, as we reflect on His perfect righteousness, love and goodness we can experience the soothing calm and comfort of resting in the Father's loving arms. As we continue this pattern of turning to Him we develop faith and perseverance through the daily struggles that come our way. In other words we benefit through our struggles because we grow closer to God by learning to trust Him and His goodness.
My hope and prayer is that you will develop the habit of running to the Father whenever going through difficult situations and that you would spend time with Him daily reading His word, hearing from Him and seeing how good, gracious and glorious He is. May our thanks-giving not only be a day to remember but rather part of our daily lifestyle... for this is God's will for us.