Sometimes it can be hard to be thankful.
Amidst everything there is in life, giving thanks can be challenging. You or a loved one might be sick. A family member or friend may have gone down the wrong path. Maybe something didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Or you simply failed a science test.
It’s that time of year where the snow is starting to fall and people are getting ready for Thanksgiving celebrations. Maybe you’ve had yours already. Nonetheless, I thought it would be a great time to share my thoughts on thankfulness.
A little girl, Grace, was asked to give thanks for the feast that the family was about to enjoy. She began thanking God for her Mom, Dad, siblings – and then stopped. “Do I thank God for Grandma and Grandpa, too?” she asked. Her grandparents had been divorced a year earlier. Grace’s mom explained. “The Bible says to give thanks for everything, even Grandma and Grandpa.” (thank you for bearing with me in this cheesy example)
Giving thanks in all circumstances can be hard. Not everything seems “thank-worthy.” But in Paul’s epistle to the Thessalonians, he urges them to give thanks in everything.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
If you play a sport or have a sibling or friend that does, you’ll sometimes hear the coach say something along these lines: “If we win, we’ll be happy. And if we lose, we’ll be happy.” What the coach is trying to say is, no matter if you win or lose, you’ll be fine with the outcome of the game. If you win or if you lose, you’ll still celebrate your effort.
This quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer is so convicting.
“We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts.”
It’s easy for us to be thankful for things that seem, well, easy to be thankful for. But when hard times come, we can forget to be thankful.
“There should be a parallel between our supplications and our thanksgivings. We ought not to leap in prayer, and limp in praise.” Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon reminds us to not forget to give thanks. There are so many things we ask for that we forget to be thankful for what we already have.
Christ, on the night in before he was to be crucified, gave thanks for the bread and the wine. The night before the very day he was to be killed on that cross, he gave thanks.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:26-28
Our Savior’s mind was on giving thanks, not on the events that would happen the next day. His life on earth was coming to an end in a few short hours. But, casting all worries aside, he gave thanks to God.
A Christian’s life should not be one marked with ungratefulness. The hope that we have in Christ is so far greater than any hope this worldly earth holds. If we show that we are truly grateful and thankful, we will be those lights in which lead others to Christ.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:2-3
It can be hard to be thankful. But it doesn’t have to be!
What are some things you are thankful for?
What are you doing for thanksgiving, or what did you do?
Have a great week my friends and don’t forget to be thankful, even for the little things in life.