Good morning Facebook family and friends. I ask that you help me pray for someone dear to me who has lost their son on this Thanksgiving. God, we ask that you comfort and keep them like only you can. Keep my dear sister in the bosom of your arms. Let us be thankful for the greatest gift that we can have on this morning-life and another chance to love on God even more.
Have you ever forgotten to thank someone for doing something for you? Whether it is something spectacular, or the mere jester of holding a door open for you. Sometimes we often take thankfulness for granted. We often have an attitude of “we deserve” what is being done so the thought of being thankful eludes us. If we are honest with ourselves we can recall numerous times that we should have been thankful and we were not.
In the stressful and troubled world in which we live, it can seem difficult for us to find something to be thankful for. When we listen to or read the news, it is mostly bad news that is reported. We hear of crimes of violence, terrorism, tragedies, and disasters. We rush about at a hectic pace day after day, trying to keep up with the demands of modern life. And the list of problems could go on and on.
Yet, it is precisely because of the problems around us that we need to devote ourselves to giving thanks. When darkness grows around us, we cannot afford to become neglectful in this spiritual practice. Instead, we need to renew our commitment to thankfulness. In fact, being thankful can be therapeutic. It can bring healing to a troubled heart. On the other hand, a lack of thankfulness can lead to depression as we focus on negative things. However, Paul the apostle wrote that we should not let our minds dwell on negative thoughts. Instead, we should dwell on those things that are pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). When we make a practice of thanking God for His many blessings, we will be focusing on the good things He has given us, and He can begin to bring healing and strength to us.
There are some key points to keep in mind concerning giving thanks. The first is that we should always be thankful. We should be thankful every day, not just when we attend a church service or observe a special day of thanks, such as Thanksgiving. This is because there is always something to be grateful for.
We always have our spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. For example, we have been forgiven of our sins through Jesus’ death on the cross (Matthew 26:28). Despite our present imperfections, God has declared us to have right standing before Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). By God’s grace and mercy we have been adopted as children of God (Romans 8:15). We are unconditionally loved by the Father, the Maker of heaven and earth (Romans 5:8).
There are also the temporal blessings we receive from God. He sends us rain, sunshine, and provides us with natural resources. Many of us have abundant food and more than adequate housing. These and many other blessings are often taken for granted, but we need to have hearts full of gratitude for all of the wonderful things He has given us, whether great or small.
In All Circumstances As mentioned above, we live in a troubled world that can threaten to overwhelm us with the pervasiveness and magnitude of its troubles. It can affect us not just in our global outlook, but also in our individual lives. But no matter how bad our circumstances may be, we can always be thankful to God. Our circumstances themselves may not always inspire thankfulness, but if we turn our thoughts to God’s many blessings, both spiritual and temporal, our hearts will again be filled with thankfulness to Him.
The Apostle Paul said: Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18). Even in difficult circumstances, we should continually keep in mind that God desires to bring good out of the situation that we are in. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
This does not mean that every situation is good in and of itself, or that every situation leads to something good by itself. On the contrary, it is when God actively works in a situation that good can come out of it – even in the darkest of situations. Often the good that comes out of a situation may not be readily apparent. We shouldn’t expect God to turn every outward circumstance in our favor. Instead, God often works in situations to strengthen us inwardly by His Spirit and to mold us into the image of Christ.
In the book of Ephesians, verse 5:20 says that we should be thankful for all things without exception. Evil is certainly an exception. Seeing this one exception can help us to understand this verse better. It is better understood to mean that we should give thanks for “every good thing”, “every blessing”, or “everything that is worthy of thanks”. We don’t need to give thanks for evil, or for every adversity or difficulty. Those things that are of God we should be thankful for. But those things that are from Satan we should take spiritual authority against. And adversities that are a result of this fallen world we should pray about, and even take action to change them as we are led by the Word and the Spirit. We must beware of falling into the trap of passivity concerning those things that are not of God.
“Let those who love the LORD hate evil” (Psalm 97:10).
“You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.” Hebrews 1:9
Live life, give people hope and share your heart, wisdom, and resources. Never place a period where God says there should be a comma.
As always peace and blessings, be safe. Take advantage of your opportunities but never allow your opportunities to take advantage of you. Remember God loves you and so do I. ©krw 4.29.16