Growing up do you recall asking your parents for certain items you thought you had to have, only to be disappointed by not receiving it? We would hear phrases from our parents about being thankful for what we already have because there are people who don’t have anything. I don’t know about you but I wasn’t concerned about someone else’s misfortune more than I was about not getting what I wanted. Now here I am as an adult with a child of my own, I find myself trying to teach my daughter to give thanks for what she has already received. Though she may not receive everything she desires, I want her to be content with what she already has in her possession.
We may not have what we want, but give thanks for having what we need.
God wants us to be content with where we are in life. I understand that you may not be where you want to be at this stage and that is okay. From time to time, I have those feelings as well. This is not to say that we should be content with not meeting our goals but instead be content in accepting where we are as we strive to get to where we’re going. No matter the season we will have to endure, God wants us to be thankful in every circumstance.
So this Thanksgiving, as you give thanks for the promotion, thank God for the layoff. It taught you how to live on less and lean on Him for everything. When you praise God for the healing, give thanks for the sickness. Now you no longer take life for granted. As you thank God for your new home, give thanks for the one that foreclosed. You learned how to better handle your finances and to not bite off more than you could chew. When you worship God for the new baby, thank Him for the child that is out of hand. They caused you to pray more and to rely on God for strength. While you say thank you for the new relationship, glorify God for the one that walked away from you. God had to show you that where He is taking you, they didn’t deserve to be by your side.
So in all things give thanks.
God wants to see if we only thank Him when things are going well. He will test us to see if we will be faithful when it is the hardest. The Bible says for those who love God, all things are working for our good even though we may not understand how. Know that trials come to make us strong. The fact that what we have gone through them, makes us better, wiser, and more resilient. That alone is enough for us to give thanks.
In Relentless Pursuit,
“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 MSG