“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
The command the apostle Paul gives us by inspiration of the Holy Spirit is to “give thanks no matter the circumstances.” Let’s be honest, this is not an easy task; in many ways I would say that it is rather a very difficult command. When we stumble, when we fail and in days of extreme difficulties, it is much easier to reproach, complain and look for ways or people where we can deposit our blame. We try to find ‘reasons’ to justify our response and we try many things except saying: “I thank you Lord!” Today is a perfect time to examine our hearts and make a sincere effort to discover if carrying out God’s will and living life to please God is our #1 priority. Start now: –Thank You Lord!— Try it, say it over and over; try to repeat it every so often until it becomes a part of your daily speech, independent of the circumstances surrounding you. I am reminded of a favorite song of mine:
Thank you, Lord,
for the trials that come my way.
In that way I can grow each day
as I let you lead,
And thank you, Lord,
for the patience those trials bring.
In that process of growing,
I can learn to care…
The moment those words come out of a sincere heart we will unleash a string of blessings and we will give witness to the world that our full trust is indeed in our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is in those moments that we give testimony that He alone has full control of my life and that everything is going to be all right.
Thank Him for this new day, for your health, for your family, for your success at work, for your church family, for providing a home and sustenance. Thank Him for the traffic jam that detained you from getting to your appointment on time, for the blowout you had on your way, and you can add many other circumstances. Remember, nothing happens in the life of a child of God by chance or coincidence.
We all love to get presents wrapped in colorful paper, but may I remind us that sometimes, those blessings come to us wrapped in dark paper as well. In Philippians 4:4-7 the apostle reminds us that being thankful keeps us conscious that the Lord is always present; therefore, it should motivate us to seek His purpose for our lives no matter the circumstances around us. Gratitude is an essential ingredient to be joyful and it is our witness to vindicate God’s name and His goodness among a self-centered society in which we live. I want to leave you with these words from an Unknown Author, a favorite piece of literature of mine. May it bless you as it has me and may God grant you and your family a very Blessed Thanksgiving!
Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair;
I envied her, she seemed so gay and oh I wished I were so fair.
And suddenly she rose to leave; I saw her hobble down the aisle;
She had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, a smile.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine; I have two feet-the world is mine.
And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm.
He seemed to radiate good cheer; His manner was so kind and warm.
I said, “It’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find.”
He turned and said, “Oh thank you, sir!” And then I saw that he was blind.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two-eyes and the world is mine.
Then when walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play; it seemed he knew not what to do.
I stopped a moment; then I said; “Why don’t you join the others, dear?”
He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine; I have two ears-the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I’d go, with eyes to see the sunset’s glow, with ears to hear what I would know;
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I’m blessed indeed, and the world is mine. (Author unknown)