Thursday, November 26, 2015

Give Thanks in ALL Circumstances

Food, football, pies, and naps; all a part of the day we call Thanksgiving. It amazes me that I can spend four hours preparing a meal that takes 15 minutes to eat. I love this holiday, mostly because I love to eat, but second because we can just rest, relax, and spend some time together with family. This year, time with family is limited to just the husband and kids, and although I love this time dearly, I do miss being around a large family for the Thanksgiving Holidays.

Historically, this holiday is meant to reflect on our blessings; what we are thankful for, all the good things in life that make us feel good about who we are and what we have. Today, I started thinking about the things I am thankful for that weren’t so good. There were times in my life, things that I experienced, that I would hate for someone else to go through, but you know what… they made me who I am today and I thank God that he got me through.

thanks in all circumstances

The Bible tells us to “Rejoice always, pray continuously, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) I really didn’t understand how someone could be thankful in ALL circumstances, especially while in the midst of situations that challenge even the strongest of people. Looking back on some of those times in our lives that, at the time made us wonder how we would get through them; it is hard to think about being grateful.

My husband’s favorite verse in the bible is in the book of James. He always recites it to us when we are feeling challenged or aggravated about something or having difficulty; “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2) After I roll my eyes at him, I do remember the next verses that follow, “because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” (James 1:3-4)

I am thankful for the battles I faced; all of them. Although we don’t like thinking about them, I believe it is when we come to realize that our identity isn’t found in the past that we begin to see how it make us who we are in the future. Perseverance builds character. Hebrews 12:7 states, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father.”

“Suffering through hardships produces perseverance; perseverance produces character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:4) And where does that hope come from? God brings it through His great love; His unending grace and relentless mercies. Our hope comes from the Father that disciplines us through the sins of our past, the hardships of difficult situations, and trials that challenge our faith. It is through all of these that the Lord builds us up and refines us to use for His glory later.

This Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for discipline. I am thankful for God’s mercy and grace. Most of all, I am thankful for Jesus who reconciled all of our sins to Himself when He died on the cross and rose again. 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! May you be blessed this holiday season and remember the One who gives the blessing.

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