“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess 5:18
This Thanksgiving, as I ponder the things I am thankful to God for, something that keeps coming to the forefront of my mind is the idea of being thankful in all circumstances: the good and the bad. It’s more than just an idea. It is Biblical.
Don’t believe me? See the above verse. Still don’t believe me? Think about the lives of some of the great men and women of the Bible – Joseph, Moses, Paul, Steven, just to name a few). Look at the heroes of the faith. Lives of those who are examples to us as to how we should view our trials – how we should give thanks in all circumstances. Look at your own life, and the lives of those around you. Sorrow, heartaches, and trials surround us. Are we thankful in those trials? Are we thankful for those trials? Or do we just desire to get out from under them and away from them as soon as possible? Tough questions, I know! Being thankful through trials, and even for trials, is something that can only be possible by the grace of God in the heart of a believer.
This year has certainly not been trial-free for us. It has not been without sorrow and pain. It has been quite the opposite. But what if God had spared us from these heartaches and trials this year, and years prior. Would I love Him as deeply? Would I have clung to Him as closely? Would our family have had the opportunity to grow as closely as we have? Would our children still have grown so close to God? I don’t think so. In fact I am quite certain the answer would be no. When things are going “perfectly” it is harder to cling to God. Harder to keep my focus on Him. Easier to slip into a comfort zone and forget about God. So, wow. If God has done these amazing, wonderful things in my heart and in our family this past year – through trials – how can I not thank Him? How can I not thank Him even for the trials?!
So, this thanksgiving, by the grace of God, I am thanking Him for all the positive blessings in my life as well as the trials in my/our lives. He is good in all He does and ordains. Thank you Lord!