“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
A few years ago while going through a period of uncertainty and fear I called a good friend of mine, Bill Hamm, and said simply, “Bill, I’m just afraid.” He replied, “Terry, God’s got this.”
God’s got this.
The best theology is simple, and you can’t get much simpler than “God’s got this.” Those words at that time allayed my fear, renewed my trust, and calmed my heart. The outworking of that particular “this” still took some time, but “God’s got this” reminded me then and reminds me today that in all the truly important ways, God is in control of my life and this world. Because of that, I can relax in the rhythms of His grace and take it easy.
I’m writing this on Thanksgiving Day, a day on which we are to particularly remember that the spiritual discipline of thanksgiving is grounded in a fundamental trust in God’s providence. We look back and see how God’s gracious hand has guided us. We look to the present and realize that we are surrounded by a bounty that is truly astounding by any reasonable standard. We look to the future with an abiding trust that as God has acted in the past, He will act in the future.
And that covers every present and future “this.”
What is your “this” today? What is the event, relationship or circumstance that has stolen or threatened your peace? As a prayer and confession of faith say quietly “God’s got this.”
I don’t know that we ever actually articulate the words, but many times we live with an attitude of “my ‘this’ is too big, too frightening, too entrenched. It keeps returning. The solution can’t be as simple as “’God’s got this.’”
As with so many deep and abiding truths, we tend to believe them except when we really need to embrace or apply them. If your “this” really is huge and overwhelming doesn’t that mean you really need to say “God’s got this” instead of dismissing or neglecting it?
Lincoln declared a national holiday of Thanksgiving in 1863. You don’t have to be a history buff to recall what was going on in our country in 1863. Civil War (could there be a more oxymoronic phrase?!?) ravaged the country. The outcome was in doubt and the future of our nation hung in the balance. Lincoln realized something we need to remember, thanksgiving is most necessary when it seems most difficult.
“God’s got this” is not conditional. It goes right to the heart of what Paul meant when he wrote, “Be thankful in all circumstances.” Not some circumstances. Not pleasant circumstances. Not mildly challenging circumstances. ALL circumstances.
A final observation. Note that Paul did not say be thankful “for” all circumstances. Some of your circumstances are terrible beyond description. You don’t need to be thankful for those. But even in those extreme circumstances be thankful to God. He is with you. He’ll take care of you. God’s will for you is that you let God be God.
Think now of your challenging “this.” Now say it: God’s got this.
Dr. Terry Ellis November 22, 2018