Here are a few thoughts about thankfulness that I’d like to share.
First, God tells us we should be thankful in everything. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says we are to be thankful in all circumstances. Ephesians 5:20 tells us to give thanks always and for everything. Give thanks ALWAYS? For EVERYTHING? You might wonder how a person is to give thanks when they are: broke, jobless, homeless, have a serious illness, lost a precious family member, or any other crises they are facing. Yet, these two verses clearly tell us give thanks to God in all circumstances.
I’m sure you have heard the expressions, “It could always be worse”, and “There is always somebody worse off than you.” (By the way, those are the last things a person in despair wants to hear)
When we go through the difficulties that life throws at us and we feel there is no one that can possibly know what our pain is like, we can rest assured there is always someone on this earth who has been through a similar situation and understands. And let’s not forget that our Saviour does indeed know a bit about suffering.
Now, this is just my humble opinion but I don’t think that during our times of grief and despair The Lord expects us to be JOYFUL. I mean, we aren’t going to be screaming “Hallelujah” When we have a disease or a family member dies! He does however, expect us to have joy IN Christ. Joy in KNOWING that He has given us his greatest gift(2 Corinthians 9:15) and in knowing His love for us endures forever(Ps.107.1). It was actually while in the depths despair that two of my favorite hymns were written. “It is well with my soul” was written after Chicago lawyer Horatio Spafford lost his finances and nearly his entire family.
“How great thou art” was penned when Stuart K. Hines, a missionary was given shelter from a thunderstorm by a local school master. http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/h/o/w/how_great_Thou_art.htm
Like these songwriters and so many others knowing in whom our joy and peace lie will allow us to truly be thankful even when it seems there is not that much to be
Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving and a heart of thanksgiving everyday!