In the early hours of June 24, 2011, my life changed forever. I was experiencing such a season of excitement that the shock of June 24 nearly left me feeling like I’d been hit by a freight train. The worst part was I had to live through this, when all I wanted to do is succumb to this feeling of dying.
In an instant, the course of your life can change and although God works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), it does not eliminate or minimize the brutality of painful circumstances. Yet, we find that life, inconsiderate as it feels, moves on regardless of us pained. We are reminded of this as the seasons change, friends and family make new memories and find happiness again, the holidays come and go.
So in this season of thanksgiving, how do you remain thankful when your circumstances feel thankless? If I can offer you anything of value, it is reminding and pointing you to God’s True Word. Can I do that with you today?
First, let’s look at what scripture has to say about thankfulness:
1 Thess 5:16-19 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 95: 1-5 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord…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…
Colossians 2: 6-7 Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
1 Timothy 4: 4-5 Everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
Second, let’s look at what scripture has to say about the brokenhearted:
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Lamentations 3:32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.
The scriptures are full of more verses pointing to God’s goodness and faithfulness to those who belong to him, even in the hurting.
Brokenhearted friend, you do not have to explain to me the pain and reality of your painful circumstances. We may have journeyed down different painful roads but we share in the sisterhood and brotherhood of the fight to stay faithful to God in it. Your reality may be filled with pain this Thanksgiving, but I would not be loving you well if I didn’t tell the whole truth that we can be thankful to the One who saved our souls.
This holiday season, look at your choice to be thankful as your offering back to God. Offerings to God are hard and painful because they cost us something, but they also give us something that is unlike any other type of thanks … a deeper relationship with Him that produces trust, true love, authenticity, integrity, and so much more.
Friend, I’m over here cheering you to hang on! In Ephesians 6 it says “after you’ve done all you can to stand … stand firm than”. I can not stand for you but I can help you lift your hands (like Aaron and Hur did for Moses in Exodus 17) and encourage you to keep going.
Let your offering of thanks this year sound like the scriptures above and wait expectantly for your God to be your comforter, protector, and giver of joy.
I am praying for you this season.
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