Daily Worship

Give thanks in all circumstances

Jane Denniston June 26, 2021 0 0
Image credit: Unsplash
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2 Corinthians 6: 1-13 (NIVUK)

1 As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2 For he says,

‘In the time of my favour I heard you,
    and in the day of salvation I helped you.’

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.

3 We put no stumbling-block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonour, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange – I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts also.

Today’s passage illustrates yesterday’s comment – that Paul is content regardless of what is happening in his life. Indeed, for Paul, it is a point of honour that he responds to privation and suffering with grace and patience, even when misunderstood and misrepresented. For Paul, the only thing which mattered was that God had saved him and loved him and that in return he was faithful to God in his actions and attitudes, regardless of his personal circumstances. His relationship with God is a model for us, although he sets a daunting example!

There is much negativity in the world. As I peruse social media, or even just converse with friends, there always seems much to complain about. Misery loves company. If we are honest with ourselves, we all love a good moan from time to time. Yet Paul shows us a better way. He invites us to open our hearts to one another and to God. In the midst of trials and tribulations this can seem an impossible task, and Paul’s injunction to, ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances’ (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18a), seems unrealistic at best. However, the important word in that verse is, ‘in’. Paul is not asking us to give thanks for everything, but to remember, in whatever state we find ourselves, that God is with us, and we can thank him for that.




Father, we know that this is the day of salvation.

We cannot delay or avoid turning to you.

Help us to open our hearts to you

and to one another.

Help us to be thankful

that whatever our lives hold

you are God

you love us

and you are faithful,

and may that knowledge sustain us

in whatever life brings, Amen