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Session 6

How to be ThankFULL when tragedy strikes

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22

Click the play button to hear Will's thoughts on today's devotional. 

If you spend any time watching television or reading social media, you’ve seen a tragic story. Natural disasters, freak accidents, and the evil nature of humanity seem to be all too prevalent today. 

The church in Thessalonica didn’t have it easy either. They were often persecuted because of their faith in Jesus. When Paul tells them to choose joy, pray, and give thanks in all circumstances, he knows he is going against their — and our — natural inclination. 

When tragedy happens, it’s easy to wonder where God is, why He would allow these things to happen, and how He could ever use them for good. It may feel like God has abandoned us when we go through hard times. 

But the truth is that God never leaves us or forsakes us. Even when our circumstances are tragic, He is still with us.

Like the church in Thessalonica, we have a choice to make when it comes to our relationship with God. We can choose to live a life based on our circumstances, or we can choose to trust in God regardless of what life brings our way. 

We have the choice to put our faith in God instead of our circumstances

Choosing to trust in God’s goodness even in the midst of tragedy makes it possible to remain joyful (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Hard times do not crush our hope because we know the God of the universe and He is on our side. 

Trusting God also drives us to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We lean most on God when we feel most out of control. Talk to God. Ask Him to intervene, tell Him how you’re feeling, and allow His presence to bring you peace. 

And finally, look for how He’s showing up in your time of need. We don’t have to thank God for everything to be able to thank God in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). God does not cause the evil that happens in this world, but He does work through it to bring Himself glory and to bring us good. 


  • Are there areas in your life where it’s difficult to see God at work?
  • How do your circumstances cause you to lose sight of God’s unfailing love?
  • What can you thank God for today?

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