As I was reflecting on the upcoming holiday, and all that it will bring, I began thinking about the things for which people are typically thankful. We love to express gratitude for family, friends, relationships, a good job, good health, a nice home, etc. All of those things are truly blessing from God, and I am thankful for each of them.
However, are we still thankful when we do not have those things? God’s Word tells us to give thanks in everything, but most of the time, we do not do that – myself included.
When was the last time you said something like this:
Thank You, Lord, for that person who treats me badly. I am learning to turn the other cheek.
Thank You for my less-than-good health. I am learning that Your grace is sufficient.
Thank You for my unemployment. My faith grows as I learn to rely on You for my daily provision.
Thank You for the people who were not supportive. I know that You alone are all I need, and that You will never leave me nor forsake me.
Thank You for that criticism, because it means that someone cares enough about me to address something they see in my life that needs to change.
Thank You for this difficult situation because I know You are using it for my good and Your glory. It has caused me to seek our Your strength and turn to You more often in prayer.
Thank You for allowing this trial in my life. You will never give me more than I can handle, and I know that one day, I will be able to be an encouragement to others going through the same thing.
Thank You for not answering the prayer I prayed in the way I wanted. I know that Your will is best for me.
These things are not easy to say, and to give praise in the midst of a trial or difficulty is one of that hardest things I have ever done. You have to look really hard for the silver lining in that dark cloud that seems to surround you. But it is there. I am challenging not only you, but myself as well to look for God’s goodness in everything.
In everything give thanks.