“What are you thankful for?” The question is asked frequently. We pause to consider. We remember the blessings. We reflect on the enjoyment of family. Health. Provision. We turn our eyes to heaven and whisper praises to our God who gives us such good gifts.
…what about those other things that don’t particularly feel like blessings? What about the broken relationships? The bad report from the doctor? The prayer that has gone seemingly unanswered? What about those places in our lives – our hearts – that just don’t naturally elicit much gratitude?
How do we give thanks then?
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Hmmm…really? ALWAYS have joy? Pray ALL THE TIME? Be thankful in ANY circumstance? …REALLY?!
Last summer, the Lord directed me to this particular Scripture SIX times in TWO days. The weekly verse at church. The daily passage in my devotional. The topic of conversation among friends. And on it went. Perhaps He was trying to tell me something…?
It was a season in my life when I didn’t feel like rejoicing. I had no words for praying. My circumstances didn’t provoke gratitude. Yes, God WAS trying to tell me something…
“My daughter, a joyful heart is possible at all times. It is not dependent on circumstances. There is always something to be thankful for, in any situation. If you can’t see it, talk to Me. Ask Me to show you. I delight in revealing Truth to you…in unveiling the hidden joy and the inexplicable peace that is available through Me…”
I started writing this blog yesterday. This morning I read the following excerpt in Sarah Young’s daily devotional, “Jesus Calling:”
“Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I have instructed you to give thanks for everything. There is an element of mystery in this transaction: You give Me thanks (regardless of your feelings), and I give you Joy (regardless of your circumstances). …Thankfulness opens your heart to My Presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same set of circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective. It is this Light of My Presence that removes the sting from adversity.”
Yes, perhaps He’s trying to tell us something…