This is the time of year when people will be doing “Thankful Challenges”…
and other people will remind us that we should be thankful all year long, not just in November.
And we should be thankful all year long.
I like the Thanksgiving season, because it serves as a reminder for how we should live our lives as Christians. Christians should be the most thankful people on earth.
Christians should also be the most joyful people on earth.
We have so much to be thankful for, if for nothing else, we should be thankful that God rescued us from a life of sin and an eternity of torment and hell.
3 Powerful Reminders For When You Don’t Feel Thankful
Paul instructed us to be thankful in all circumstances.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This doesn’t sound very hard, until you’re faced with a huge financial setback, a child who is very ill and in the hospital, marriage trouble, or a health crisis.
Suddenly, our mind is gripped with worry and anxiety. Frustration overtakes us and plants seeds of doubt in our mind and we begin questioning God.
We start to second-guess ourselves, wondering if we somehow stepped out of God’s will. We begin to think that if we were truly in the will of God that these bad things wouldn’t happen to us.
1. We need to ask the right questions.
In the post Stop Asking “Why God” and What to Ask Instead, I point out that the right question isn’t why, but what.
If we want an answer to our questions, we must begin by asking the right questions. Why is an accusatory question, but asking what leaves us open for an answer.
2. Being in God’s will doesn’t protect us
We may be walking in the perfect will of God, but that doesn’t always from bad things happening to us.
Many Christians get tripped up on this, because they feel having a closer walk with God will somehow serve as a good luck charm, protecting them from anything undesirable.
Jesus actually promised us that we’d have trouble in this life.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Learning to be thankful in all things enables us to walk through difficult circumstances with peace and joy.
Do you want to know what God’s will for your life is? Each of us has a unique calling and destiny, but God’s will for every believer is to be thankful always.
By now I’m sure you’re wondering how you could possibly be thankful for a child who is very ill or a marriage that is on the rocks.
Paul didn’t say, “For everything give thanks…”, but “In everything give thanks…”
In other words, just because you’re facing a trial or, as my dad terms “waves of adversity” doesn’t mean you stop finding reasons to live thankful.
Learning to live life through a prism of thankfulness and gratefulness is a discipline that helps keep our heart free from trap of entitlement and ungratefulness that leads to bitterness, selfishness, and pride.
For this reason, I believe November is a great time of year to remind ourselves of this important lesson. What’s more, I think it is the best start to our holiday season.
Begin to create a pattern of living thankful so that as we approach Christmas we aren’t consumed with what we want more than we are with celebrating Christ’s birth.
I have created a number of resources that cultivate thanksgiving in our hearts all year long, like a
- Thanksgiving journal
- War Room Prayer Prompts for Thanksgiving
- and a course on how to give thanks in the hard seasons
Let’s start off this holiday season with training our hearts and minds to default to thankfulness…
in every situation
in every circumstance
in every trial
in every setback
until we can face each one with peace, joy, and a secure faith in knowing that God is always in control and will somehow turn each circumstance around for His glory!