A Thanksgiving Challenge
Tomorrow is a wonderful American holiday: Thanksgiving. During this feast most of us say thanks to God for the blessings we have. We thank God for our families, jobs, safety, and health. The tradition started with the pilgrims giving thanks for the harvest.
Beautiful. It’s easy to be thankful when things are going well, isn’t it?
Let’s be real…How about if we lost our family, or our job? What if we are not safe, or don’t have good health? (or any other bad things that may have happened to you personally) Can we still be thankful? Should we still be thankful?
If you honor the Bible, the answer lies in Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonians. He said, “In everything give thanks.” This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. Four words. Simple. Yet it is also one of the hardest verses in the Bible to apply (in my opinion).
It is easy to accept the platitude, “Be Thankful.” It sounds nice. But when you think about this a bit further, being thankful is a deep principle that is rooted in profound faith. It is not easy to have the discipline of gratitude when things are not going my way.
Paul, the quintessential leader of the early church, was imprisoned in a Roman prison, wrongly accused. He was often beaten. He was part of a small and highly persecuted group. He had left his family, his home, and travelled by ship and land—a treacherous 10,000 miles. He was unmarried. Although he had friends, he must have often felt alone. And ultimately, he was executed.
Yet he was thankful. We can be too.
Whatever your challenges are today—whatever they are—I hope that our faith is deep enough that we know our life is under God’s provision. Nothing happens without His permission.
So let’s be thankful in everything. That is my challenge for you and me.
Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for each of you.