Give Thanks… Even When Bad Happens??

by | Nov 16, 2014 | Sunday Truth

May 2014 was an unbelievably challenging month for our family.

I relive in my memory the events that transpired in those thirty days, and I wonder how I made it through with a sane mind. (That may be questionable by some.) But in all seriousness, I don’t know how I didn’t just lose it. As a mom, a wife, a business owner, a Christian, life appeared to be crumbling all around me.

Life-altering events that affected my children and husband, my son losing his eyesight in a soccer game which abruptly ended his season, deciding to resign from a position I held for 17 years, concerns of my health, and more. It makes me shudder to recall it all.

Some day I’ll share more when the time is right, but for today, I’m filled with thanksgiving.

thanksgiving:  an expression of thanks, especially to God.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances

Give thanks.

I once had a difficult time understanding this scripture.

“How do I give thanks when the bad in life happens?? I’m not one bit thankful for any of that.”

I soon realized the scripture didn’t read, “Give thanks FOR all circumstances.” It read, “Give thanks IN all circumstances.”

I can’t say I was thankful when things started to go south the first weekend in May. But I remember thanking God for protecting our daughter, and for His grace.

I wasn’t thankful our 17-year old couldn’t see that Tuesday night in the E.R. But I thanked God we were all together, and for the hope we had. With or without my son’s vision.

The only solid ground I could stand on was my faith in God and in His Son. All other ground was shifting. I knew They were with me, and during those long nights alone while my husband was at work, They caught every tear I shed.

So many of those nights I didn’t know what to pray, so I just whispered Jesus’ name, over and over, until I fell asleep.

Even though I wasn’t thankful for those awful events, I was able to be thankful through them.

All because I knew God was with me, and I could trust Him. All because of the hope I had in Jesus.

We all experience difficult times, or what I call the “yuck” in life. But through them, there’s always something to be thankful for. More importantly, if we have the life-giving hope that’s found only in Jesus, true thanksgiving naturally stems from it.

true thanksgiving

I love The Message translation of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

What can you be thankful IN today? Let’s live out the hope we have. Let’s thank God today, and in the days to come, no matter what happens.

May our thanksgiving spread from our hearts into the hearts of others.

God has carried us through. Six months later the scars remain, but are reminders of God’s faithfulness and love. Our son’s sight has been fully restored. We are most thankful.

Friend, I’m thankful for you today, too.



It’s a blessing to share truth from God’s Word today for #SundayTruth, and a joy to link up with the joy at Counting My Blessings and Inspire Me Monday.

Julie Lefebure Sunday Truth

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  1. Beth S.

    I wasn’t thankful for those awful events, I was able to be thankful through them.” That says it so well, Julie. Many of the awful events in my life I did not know Christ so was not thankful through them but He has shown me the redemptive perspective and I can now look back and be thankful for how He carried me through them even I did not see Him then. I am thankful for how He has used them to build my faith and trust in Him. I’ve decided in 2015 it will be a must for us to find a time to connect in real life. I so want to share a cup of coffee with you and share our stories. Much love to you. xoxo

    • Julie Lefebure

      I can’t wait to sit across a table from you over a couple cups of coffee and to share stories, Beth! I have similar events in my life when I wasn’t walking with the Lord years ago. I was everything but thankful through difficult events. I’m glad we can both say things are different for us today. All because of Jesus. Have a great week, beautiful friend! Much love right back at ya!

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I have to confess, the first thing I did was go to the link about your son – I washping for a happy ending, and was delighted that there is one.

    Life here has been hard for the last three years – illness, loss of career, and bankruptcy – among other things. Sometimes God seems far away, and it can frankly be galling to hear others talking up being “blessed” with success and the fulfillment of dreams. I mean, am I God’s red-headed stepchild?

    But the truth is that we are designed to be residents of eternity, and to take a temporal view – of either gratitude or resentment – is wrong.

    Last night I was in so much pain that all could do was sit on the kitchen floor and weep, and it takes a LOT to make me cry. No way anyone would be grateful for that, and I don’t for a moment believe that God “sent” it, or allowed it to happen for any purpose whatsoever. It’s just part of life in a world in which we have free will. and that is a necessary precondition to our being able to walk through the Pearly Gates.

    God hates the bad as much as I do; he helps celebrate and cherish the good. And that is enough.

    • Julie Lefebure

      Yes, I too, am delighted my son’s eye injury has turned out the way it has. I am grateful. I’m sorry you’ve been in much pain, Andrew. I will continue to pray for you, and for God’s healing. One day we’ll all be free of the burdens of this life when we cross over into eternity with our Savior. That fills me with gratitude for what Jesus has done for us.

  3. Anita Ojeda

    How terrifying for your son and for your family. I’m so glad that his vision is restored. It’s no fun going through yuck in our lives–but it certainly makes it easier to have Jesus holding our hand! May you continue to feel his love and presence in each new challenge that comes your way!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Amen, Anita! Can you imagine life without Him?? Your comment took me to a place of worship today. Thank you! I pray you feel His love and presence in the same way, friend! Thanks for rejoicing with me!

  4. Heather @40YearWanderer

    When I saw your picture on the comment you left on my blog post about what to tell those humbuggies ;), I thought you looked familiar. But we must have mutual friends in Facebook? Because I don’t recall the pleasure of having visited you pr blog before.
    You write beautifully. And I connect in this post for sure. We’ve been through much tragedy and learned that thanksgiving “in” thing big time. And we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Soooo glad I stopped by. You bless!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Heather! Yes, I’m not sure we’ve “met” before this, but I’m so glad we did now! Thank you for stopping in and for your encouragement. Thanksgiving “in” makes all the difference, doesn’t it?! I’m sorry to read you’ve been through much tragedy, though. God is faithful, even through the hard times. I’ll be visiting your place again soon. Hope your week is going well.

  5. Sabra Penley

    What a beautiful message, Julie! Thankfulness in those difficult times draws us close to God. I reminds us that He is with us–always–and He’s in control of those situations we wish would just go away. He gives us strength and grace to make it through…and not just endure it, but to have peace and even joy, knowing He is there and has a purpose. Sorry…not writing a post here. Just sharing the thoughts your sweet message brought to my mind. So thankful the Lord returned your son’s sight and that the wounds of the spring have healed. And isn’t wonderful that those scars–like the scars in our Savior’s hands–remind us of His love forever and always! Blessings to you, sweet friend!

    • Julie Lefebure

      You can most certainly write a post here, Sabra! I love your words. Thank you for sharing them. Yes, His strength, grace, peace, joy and purpose through all things. I’m so grateful for them, and even the scars too. So pleased you stopped over today, friend. I appreciate you!

  6. Angie Ryg

    I am so glad your son’s sight has been restored! Hat a beautiful post to remind us to be thankful for every thing we have even the parts we do not know how to be thankful for at the time!

    Thank you also for linking up with Inspire Me Monday and I am so happy to connect!

    • Julie Lefebure

      Hi Angie! I’m so glad too. What a gift it was to have it restored! Still praising God for it. We have so much to be thankful for, don’t we?? Happy Thanksgiving to you. Blessings!



  1. Guest-posting at Sweet to the Soul - Julie Lefebure - […] The post I’m sharing is a snippet from Sunday’s post. […]

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