Since this is the week of the year that we focus on being thankful, I want to share with you my thoughts on just that.
I’d heard it said numerous times, through the years, that we should thank God especially when
times are tough. Feeling down and stressed and upset is not usually a time we choose to praise God. Often, when I felt distressed in the past, I would try to be thankful but always came up with a thought to counteract my gratefulness. I might thank God for my wonderful house and then immediately think “Although this isn’t exactly where I want to live.” Or, I might give praise for my amazing husband just to remind myself how angry I felt with him the night before.
Why did I struggle to find something to be sincerely thankful about at times when life would get the best of me? (I guess I’m gonna have to blame this on sugar – the usual culprit for my self-pity times.) Trying to give thanks during the storms seemed superficial to me – but I kept on trying.
And I kept on, until I noticed it became easier and easier to look at all I had to be grateful for even when I was at my lowest. Thanking God became a solution to pull me out of the doldrums. We serve a mighty God who wants to be praised and worshiped. Giving thanks to Him is a high form of praise that we should present to God at every opportunity, especially during the times we feel the least bit thankful. Whenever we turn our focus to God in the midst of trials, He returns His grace tenfold to us. Peace envelopes us. Not to mention, looking to God and singing His praises is a sure way to send the old devil packing. He won’t want to mess with us when we’re busy praising God.
I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
It takes practice to get in the habit of being thankful regardless of your circumstances. Like everything, the more you practice, the easier it becomes. It will lift you out of the hum-drums of life.
Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We are told here to not be anxious about anything. Through prayer and supplication and with THANKSGIVING we are to let our requests be made known to God. And by doing so, God’s peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds. These verses have been the core of my faith for many years.
“Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula; it is the language of Love, which enables you to communicate intimately with Me. A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations. I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble.”
Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). This is a spiritual act of obedience – at times, blind obedience. To people who don’t know Me intimately, it can seem irrational and even impossible to thank Me for heartrending hardships. Nonetheless, those who obey Me in this way are invariably blessed, even though difficulties may remain.
Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective, It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity. Jesus Calling – Sarah Young
We have so much to be grateful for in this great country despite the circumstances we face. Don’t forget to count your blessings every day, not just on a holiday dedicated to Thanksgiving. Have a blessed Thanksgiving day with your family and friends!