In a few short days, we’ll be celebrating another Thanksgiving with our loved ones around tables filled with steamy delicacies and holiday cheer. There, we’ll share tales of our experiences over the past year, as well as, expressions of thanksgiving for all the Lord has blessed us with.
It’s easy to give thanks for good things such as family, friends, and good health. Yet Scripture tells us to “be thankful in all circumstances.” (I Thessalonians 5:18). What do we do with the situations in our lives that aren’t so easy to be thankful for, the struggles and hardships we all face along life’s journey?
How can we display gratitude and find God’s grace in even the most trying of circumstances?
Pain – Thanking God for pain is like hugging someone for dropping a hammer on your foot. How can anything good come from the painful circumstances in our lives? The best answer I can give is that by pushing past the pain and looking beyond our present situations, we grow stronger and our relationship with the Lord deepens.
Think about it. If everything in our lives ran smoothly, we’d go through life unchallenged, never having to trust in God’s promise to be with us. Only through the difficulties of life do we find ourselves relying on the Lord’s strength, and in the process find our faith stretched. Pain is a catalyst for growth. Without pain, our lives becomes stagnant. We can thank God for pain because, through it, we mature in our faith and are drawn closer to Him.
Financial Stress – Most of us have experienced the pinch of not having enough money at some point in our lives. It’s the unexpected hits that strike the hardest – health issues, job layoffs, hospital bills, unemployment, unexpected expenses. Whatever the circumstance, trying to make ends meet can prove a major source of stress that affects every aspect of our lives.
Yet, the Lord has promised to “meet all our needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) This is not to say God is a genie who’ll fulfill our every whim and wish. Instead, He merely wants us to rest in Him, knowing He will care for us. When we praise Him, despite our needs, He will bless us in our faithfulness to Him.
Health Issues – What good can come of sickness or disease? When our health fails, our bodily strength weakens. Yet, instead of giving in to moments of self-pity and discouragement, the Lord desires us to rely on His strength.
When we surrender ourselves to Him, He grants us peace to journey through hardships alongside Him. Thanking God in the midst of physical weakness, empowers Him to move in our lives and demonstrate His glory.
Separation From a Loved One in Life or in Death – Nothing is more heart-wrenching than being separated from or losing a loved one. When the numbness eases, and the tears flow free, there seems nothing but memories to hold on to.
Yet, the Lord has given His people a precious gift to cling to – the hope of glory, through His Son, Jesus, and the knowledge that we will one day see our loved ones again. Praise be to God for His gift of salvation and for the hope He gives us through His Word.
~ What’s something you’re thankful for that isn’t always looked at as a blessing?
God bless you as you rest in Him through life’s journey! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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UNDER THIS SAME SKY ~ BOOK ONE
UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES ~ BOOK TWO
UNDER MOONLIT SKIES ~ BOOK THREE
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Mistakes that I have made and that helped me learn.
Ah, that’s a good one, Alicia! None of us like to admit to our mistakes, but God can sure use them to help us grow. Thanks for sharing!
I’m thankful for adversities that make me rely more on God. When things are going well, it’s easy to think we did things on our own, and not rely on Him like we should. Adversity helps me to stay focused more on Him and what He wants me to do.
Amen, Trudy! So very true. It’s easy to get comfortable and lax in our faith when all is going well. May we learn and grow from adversity instead of becoming agitated or discouraged. Blessings!