Thanksgiving is the time of year when we stop and are thankful for all our blessings. Of course, we should be thankful every day of the year. I want you to take a different look at Thanksgiving this year. You certainly can list all of your many blessings and be thankful. But, are you truly thankful for everything?
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Are you thankful for everything in your life? Are you thankful for your troubles, frustrations, unfulfilled expectations, you fill in the blank? I think it is easy to be thankful for the good things in our lives, but not the difficult things.
The past few years in my life have been extremely difficult. There is no need to go into all the specifics. Through the difficulties I have learned more about God’s faithfulness and care for me. I have come to God as a little child and saying, “Please, take care of me.” I don’t have the answers. When I focus on God instead of myself I become renewed and refreshed. Now, if you had asked me several years ago did I want these particular difficulties – I would have given you a resounding, NO! I would tell you now I would not trade those difficulties for easy times, because of the precious knowledge and growth that occurred in my relationship with God. The verse that has been my stronghold is, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5. God has taught me the only sure thing in this world is His love for me and His overwhelming mercy and grace.
I would encourage you when you are going through trials and tribulations to ask God what He has to teach you through this difficult time. I know our first reaction is to just pray, “Lord, get me out of this difficulty”, but I would encourage you to go one step further and say, “What do You have to show me?” How can I trust You when everything is crashing down around me?
Now, please don’t hear me saying be a “happy” Christian and say Praise the Lord for whatever is happening in your life. God does not expect us to pretend. We can bring all our hurts and frustrations to Him. He loves and wants to be our Abba – Father.
So, this Thanksgiving I would encourage you to take a different twist on being thankful for your blessings. Try being thankful for everything in your life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Learn to be content in whatever circumstance you are in and ask God to show you what He wants you to learn about Him and His almighty love for you. Please remember you need to do nothing to earn or keep God’s love for you. He loves you just the way you are even if you don’t change at all.