A Scripture in 1 Thessalonians says it is God’s will for us to be joyful always; pray continually; and give thanks in all circumstances. I interpret this to mean we are to be thankful in the good times and the bad. I also think it is saying we should be thankful and joyful every single day.
Are you able to be thankful during troubled times, when you are frustrated or when you are not doing well healthwise? It’s easy for us to show our appreciation when things are going well or going “our way” — not so easy when difficult circumstances are taking place around us.
I am like anyone else. I have had some hard times in my life. I know firsthand that it’s not easy when you are faced with extreme difficulty. I’ve had heartbreak. I know the anguish of losing a child. Through the difficulties, however, I have learned more about God’s faithfulness and love.
I have come to know God as a loving and caring God who takes care of us when the pain is hard to bear. I have been able to be thankful for the times of difficulty because it’s then when God shows up with mercy and grace to see us through.
Just a few years ago if anyone would have asked me if I could be thankful during toilsome times I would have said NO WAY! Thankfully I’ve learned it’s during these times there is growth for Christians and precious knowledge is attained. Learning contentment is significant to being disciplined.
Many of us have accumulated large debts chasing dreams or buying the latest “must-have” gadgets on television. Too soon we find out these material things just fulfill us temporarily. How many things have you purchased thinking it would bring you happiness? How many of these things are collecting dust or sitting in storage somewhere?
When we learn to be content our desire to buy, buy, buy will cease. We will find true happiness when we give to others instead of buying for ourselves.
This Thanksgiving I’d like to encourage you to look at things a little differently. Practice being thankful for everything in your life. Make a list of things you are thankful for and focus on appreciating them throughout the year — the good, the bad and the ugly.
Thanksgiving, like contentment, is an acquired attribute. Work on being satisfied. Ponder on 1 Timothy 6:7: We brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. The more we show gratitude the more blessings and miracles we will see.
Warning: Being thankful may cause happiness to increase.