The Bible says, “In everything give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But it isn’t always easy to be thankful, right? When things fall, they aren’t always beautiful. We fail. We fall. We sin. We worry. We get grumpy, we frown, and we may find ourselves wondering, How am I going to turn my frown into a smile? Not just a pretend one, a real one.
How are you supposed to keep your tears from flowing when the bucket in front of you doesn’t look big enough to catch them all? How can you celebrate Thanksgiving every day when you don’t know where to begin looking for gratitude?
I think we need to seek for and find thankfulness every day, not just on Thanksgiving. At times the holidays get busy. Too busy for us to slow down and thank God for blessings given and those yet to come. On Thanksgiving Day, the turkey roasts in the oven. I’ve never seen so much food on the counter. Now I understand why we only do this once a year — at least the meal portion.
My family has been able to smell the turkey all day, so they ask me questions incessantly…
- Mom, when is the turkey going to be done?
- Honey, did you get pumpkin and apple pie?
- Is the whipped cream fresh or canned?
- Is there enough gravy?
- Where do you want us to sit?
- Can my friends come over too?
- When is the football game on?
- Can we come over again next year?
- This looks delicious! Can I have a preview bite?
I think they’re anxious to gobble, gobble, gobble. I admit I am too.
Instead, I want to step back and pray. Pray for those of you who don’t feel like you have enough to be thankful for. Pray for those you who are lost, sad, overwhelmed, confused, lonely, and find yourselves wondering, Where are You, God? Where are You right now? What do I have to be thankful for? We all have moments where being thankful isn’t simple.
Beloved child of God, He is right next to you. In Him, you are forever forgiven, forever loved, and forever in His presence. He is your reason to be thankful. Thankful every day. Behind your smile, there are reasons to unleash gratitude. Sometimes blessings feel like they’re overflowing. Other times it doesn’t feel like there are enough. Look a bit harder. If you can’t find them ask yourself, “What am I thankful for today?”
I talked with God today and this is what I thanked Him for…
Thanks God for giving me today.
— It’s a gift.
Thanks for reminding me that You’re always near.
— You captivate my soul.
Thanks for blessing me with courage when I’m afraid.
— You are my Anchor.
Thanks for victories.
— You are my Armor.
Thanks for giving me confidence that hope is always found in You.
— You are my Sustenance.
Thank You for every breath I get to take.
— You are my Healer.
Thank You for my family.
— You are our amazing Creator.
Thank you for faith-filled friends.
— They are blessings from above.
Thank you for a roof over our heads and food on the table.
— You are our Provider.
Thank you for sacrificing Your one and only Son.
— You are our Redeemer.
Thank you for the honor to get to praise You.
— You are our King.
This Thanksgiving I will get down on bended knee, stay in awe, thanking You for blessings big and small.
I love you God.
So how do you find thankfulness in every situation?
KNOW WHO YOUR KING IS.
Authentic identity is found in Christ, not in this world. If you let the world rule you and say who you need to be it won’t fulfill you. You’re not perfect and the world will demand that from you. And sometimes feeling imperfect, because you cannot live up to the world’s standards, brings you down and then it’s hard to be thankful. Or you may hold onto treasures on earth, accomplishments you hope to gain, praise from others, or the need to have others unconditionally love you. You’ll find that all of this lacks what you hoped it would give you. Fulfillment is temporary not everlasting. Now you might feel thankless instead of thankful. Beloved, turn toward your Heavenly Father, your King. Focus on all that He has done for you. He gave us His one and only Son to make you whole. Make you complete. In God’s eyes, you are flawless once you pull Him into your heart. I pray you will know how real He is today.
LOVE HIM BACK.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much God loves you! Choose to love Him back and discover how much He loves. If you’ve loved God for a long time, love Him more. If you haven’t before, start today. I promise you, you’ll find a reason to give thanks every day.
If you are feeling thankless, ask God to help you find thankfulness. If you are in a joy-filled season, thank God for everything He’s done for you. Keep praying. Keep talking to Him. “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Trusting God with our every portion isn’t alway simple. At times we face challenging, discouraging, or unthinkable moments. When you find yourself in this circumstance, extending thankfulness is challenging. I’ve been there, done that. Trusting God will help you extend gratitude in all circumstances. Actively trust Him by lifting up thanks and shouting-out glory to the One who goes before you to fight battles encountered. God will equip you to chase thankfulness in all situations. You’ll get to see how mighty and capable our Father is. Your strong, unshakeable victory is found in Christ. Always. No matter who you are, no matter what you are going through, God is right there. So keep trusting and watch your thankfulness rise.
UNCOVER HIDDEN JOY AND GIVE THANKS.
If you can’t seem to find a reason to be thankful and joyful, get out a piece of paper and start making a list of things you’re thankful for. Stay in your seat until you have a minimum of five things written down. Leave that piece of paper out and add to it throughout the day.
I did and here is the list I wrote. I plan to leave it out for days and weeks to come, considering it a blessing to keep adding to my “thankful list.”
God thank you for…
- Your love-grip.
- Your redemption.
- Your sacrifice.
- Life. It is precious.
- My husband, children, family, friends — now and yet to be made.
- The four angels waiting for me in Heaven. Miscarriages took them, but I know they are with You today.
- For helping my doctor discover my brain tumor in time.
- For taking me off life support and for keeping me here to stay with my family a bit longer.
- Miracles. They are Your whispers from Heaven.
- For every breath I get to take, every step I get to take, every prayer I get to lift up, every smile I get to see, and every giggle I get to hear.
- For showing me that hope is always found in You — yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
- For reminding me to thank You every day. And when I forget, thank You for extending me unfathomable grace.
My “thankful list” for all that You’ve done will never end, because You are my Forever Father Love.
Beloved, keep thanking. And soon you’ll find a reason to be thankful in all circumstances. “In every thing give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Remember, complaining is contagious but so is the opposite, including appreciation and gratitude.
Happy Thanksgiving, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Hope in Him,