A little song I used to sing with my kids went something like this…
“Are you humbly grateful or grumbly hateful, What’s your attitude? Do you grumble and groan, or let it be known You’re grateful for all God’s done for you?”
A very good question for us to consider today, especially after the year of Coronavirus! We could each spout out a list of grumbles and groans I’m sure. But 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that is not God’s will.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 1 These. 5:18
No matter the situation – no matter how small or large, easy or difficult, sad or happy, stressful or peaceful your situation – there are always things we can discover and acknowledge to God with thanksgiving. ALWAYS!
Can we say with the apostle Paul…
“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Philippians 4:11-13
Have we, like Paul, learned to be thankful and content? Contentedness really is a by-product of being thankful.
We’ve lived through a challenging year, ladies. It has been difficult at times to have a grateful heart. But then at other times, like when I hear of a tragedy someone else is facing, I’m so very thankful for my own simple life problems and all. You too?
Have you had trouble being thankful for the hard things though?
Have you spent more time praying & thanking God or griping and running your mouth about these things? COVID, masks, government mandates, those who don’t wear masks, those who do, the election, …?
We need to develop the discipline to choose to see through thankful eyes and look for God’s provision and His purposes in ALL things. I don’t mean we’ll never have negative feelings or opinions. I mean we control our tongues, rest our hearts in Jesus, and look to our omnipotent Heavenly Father to handle all the things we want to be grumbly hateful about.
Thanksgiving in our lives makes us consciously aware of significant things that we may otherwise overlook. Thanksgiving focuses our attention in the right direction – from worry to praise, from fear to faith.
Are you able to give thanks …
- When life is chaotic.
- When catastrophe strikes. illness, loss, destruction, rebellion, disappointment
- When you feel rejected or unloved.
- When your prayers are still unanswered or are answered in a way that you do not like.
- When we don’t know how we will survive because of financial issues or job loss
- When we feel forgotten, overlooked, or abandoned.
- When we live in the shadows, not the limelight.
- When we are not asked to serve in a capacity we really want to.
- When we face the death of someone we love
- When we face death ourselves.
- When we are in a season of depression or despair
- When we feel lonely
When times are challenging and and we find it difficult to find something to be thankful for, here are a few things to consider.
Jer. 29:11-14 states “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.”
So what are some things we can be thankful for in a really bad situation?
Salvation of course! For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall never perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
1. God’s strength, protection, & help. Psalm 28:7
2. That God hears our prayers. John11:41
3. That we received the Word of God and accepted Christ and that His word is alive and active in us “performing its work in believers.” 1 These. 2:13
4. God’s direction through our trying times when we don’t know the right course to take. We must try NOT to live by our own understanding – by our own wits or worldly advice – but trust Him to get us through on a straight path. Proverbs 3:5-6
5. He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3
6. God’s peace that He will put in our hearts when we come to Him in prayer and thanksgiving! Philippians 4:6-7
7. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. Psalm 34:18
8. God will be there to comfort us in all our troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:4
9. He will strengthen us for service to Him. 1 Timothy 1:12
10. We have God’s provision! If He provides for the birds and adorns the flowers so beautifully, how much more will He provide for our every need. Matthew 6:25-33
11. We Have Christ – the Hope of glory! Colossians 1:17
Today, choose to find something to be thankful for!