“We need to thank God for the good things and the bad things, because the truth is, we don’t know the difference.”
– Jennie Allen
Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday and I am okay with that. I started listening to Christmas music at the beginning of November and could have easily skipped right over it. I don’t like cranberry sauce or football. That pretty much just leaves turkey and I probably wouldn’t miss that either. So maybe you can see why it never occurred to me to do a blog post about Thanksgiving.
I think all the other bloggers in all the land (or at least this land) covered the topic of thankfulness for us during the month of November, so I don’t have anything profound to add, but I do have a few things to say so not to leave the holiday out completely. This verse is on the cover of my prayer journal:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I have looked at that verse all year. I have understood it, but maybe just recently started to appreciate it. As I walked through the holiday less thankful than I should have been, I think I became more fond of the verse.
I have seen that my thankfulness, just like my joy, can’t change depending on my feelings or life circumstances. What I love about the verse is the instruction we are given. We are to be thankful in all circumstances. It will ultimately bring us peace as we follow it.
Thankfulness creates gratitude which generates contentment that causes peace.
When we make an effort to be thankful in all circumstances and make a decision to do what God says, we begin to see everything in a new light. Somehow it becomes easier to be thankful and we end up having more joy. Funny how that works…
I believe part of that is being dependent on God. The quote above, in the picture, pretty much says it perfectly. As we are walking with God, depending on Him, and striving to obey Him it may become more obvious to us why certain things happen. Or it may not. Doesn’t really matter if it becomes clear, we are still to be thankful in all circumstances.
Tim Keller often says: “God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything He knows.” Only God has the full view and we may never see why we had to go through a certain trial here on earth. We do know that He will accomplish good in it, so we can rejoice in the hope we have in Christ.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
“So, amid the conflict whether great or small. Do not be discouraged, God is over all. Count your blessings. Count them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.”