First Thessalonians 5:18 requires that Christians “give thanks in all circumstances.” While to some this may seem crazy or at least a strange kind of spiritual masochism, the Bible has good reason for directing us to be grateful even when life hurts. For starters, Christians affirm that God is sovereign has good intentions when he enlists trials and pain in the lives of the children he deeply loves. As we parents interact with our young children (assuming we are humble enough to accept that we are God’s “kids”) we should quickly recognize that pain is often a strategic path to healing, maturity and prosperity in this world. If only our kids could see through their immaturity that the bad tasting medicine, the hassle of homework, or sting of discipline will eventually yield great benefit, then perhaps they, like us, could learn to complain less and even find the strength to be grateful in the face of circumstances that are less than fun. May God give us the maturity to “give thanks” in good times and bad.