"...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18
One of the earliest lessons we learn as children is to say, "Please" and "Thank You". It is a simple concept, really.
Of course, we are taught to express our thanks whenever we are given something that is nice, or helpful, or valuable, or generous.
However, in this verse, the Apostle Paul instructs us to "give thanks in ALL circumstances". Say, what? Be thankful in "ALL circumstance"? Are you kidding me? How do I do that? Some circumstances are painful and hard and unwelcomed. Am I supposed to be thankful when stuff like that happens? Why is that?
Read the rest of the verse, "for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Here is the deal. We don't have to be thankful for difficult things that happen to us. Am I to be thankful that I lose a job, or my health, or a loved one? I don't think so! But, what we can be thankful for is that God is in control of our circumstances and He has promised that "all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose" and "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
So, what we can be thankful for is that when troubles come it means that God is at work! Our pain is working for our gain because that is how God works, Who He is and what He does! Thank Him that even what works against us in life works for us because His Kingdom is coming and His will is being done - in us!