Gratitude Day 18

Throughout this Holiday Season I am reminded that we are to recognize the blessings in our life each day.

Thankfulness is not a once a year novelty. It’s not to be put on once a year like our reindeer holiday sweater! I believe we need to daily cultivate a heart of thanksgiving. Scripture tells us, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). We are to give thanks in all things, not some things, not the great and wonderful things, but in everything.

Does that mean I am thankful if my car gets totaled? Well, I can be thankful that I wasn’t hurt. What about the really tough things in life like losing a job, a home, or the death of a loved one? Ouch! Thankfulness? Seriously? Oh I know we can say the right, “spiritual” thing in such circumstances. It’s harder to have a thankful heart in the circumstance. God isn’t saying to be thankful that something awful has happened. He knows we are human, we get hurt, we lose hope, and suffer grief. No, rather he wants us to give thanks in the face of it.

Perhaps this past year you are one of the millions who have lost their job, maybe your house is in foreclosure, perhaps you have lost one dear to your heart. This may be a season of grief and loss for you, but know that you have a hope that does not disappoint. Stop and recognize that you have a Rescuer who understands you. He comforts the brokenhearted. He promises to never leave you or forsake you. His love is extravagant toward you. His love never fails. Your sadness may last for a time, but joy will come, “But Joy comes in the morning, You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing” (Psalm 30:5).

Man, we have MUCH to be thankful for with such a great God and His great love!