“Give thanks in all circumstances” – 1 Thes. 5:18
The holiday season is a time to reflect on the past year, both pleasant and difficult circumstances. For many, this can be a time when our thoughts are drawn to difficult family circumstances. How do we handle these thoughts? And, how can we find a way to remain thankful through these, and other, trials of life?
Great athletes are able to bounce back when they struggle through the trials of not performing their best. They can fight through injury, sickness, and defeat because there is something constant through the ever-changing circumstances of competition – a goal, a coach, or a motivation. We are tempted to give up when we lose that which motivates us. If our goal is no longer attainable, or the person or cause for which we compete is lost, it's easy to lose hope.
For a Christian, our constant motivation is our God. He is always there. His faithful love remains, and He is still on the throne, even when life is most difficult. In fact, these are the times when we can become most aware of His presence. This is why we can be thankful. Our gratitude is not simply due to our possessions for they may not always be there. We can give thanks because of God's constant presence in our lives.
“On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days. So that we won’t take anything for granted.” (Ecclesiastes 7:14 – The Message)
1 – Set a 5-minute timer, and list the blessings you have been given this past year.
2 – List the people who have been most involved in your life this past year.
3 – Describe how God has shown you His faithfulness through this past year.