Be Thankful for What??

Be Thankful for What??

In a few short days, we’ll be celebrating another Thanksgiving with our loved ones around tables filled with steamy delicacies and holiday cheer. There, we’ll share tales of our experiences over the past year, as well as, expressions of thanksgiving for all the Lord has blessed us with.

It’s easy to give thanks for good things such as family, friends, and good health. Yet Scripture tells us to “be thankful in all circumstances.” (I Thessalonians 5:18). What do we do with the situations in our lives that aren’t so easy to be thankful for, the struggles and hardships we all face along life’s journey?

How can we display gratitude and find God’s grace in even the most trying of circumstances?

Pain – Thanking God for pain is like hugging someone for dropping a hammer on your foot. How can anything good come from the painful circumstances in our lives?

The best answer I can give is that by pushing past the pain and looking beyond our present situations, we grow stronger and our relationship with the Lord deepens.

Think about it. If everything in our lives ran smoothly, we’d go through life  unchallenged, never having to trust in God’s promise to be with us. Only through the difficulties of life do we find ourselves relying on the Lord’s strength, and in the process find our faith stretched. Pain is a catalyst for  growth. Without pain, our lives becomes stagnant. We can thank God for pain because, through it, we mature in our faith and are drawn closer to Him.

Financial Stress – Most of us have experienced the pinch of not having enough money at some point in our lives. The unexpected hits –health issues, job layoffs, hospital bills, unemployment, unexpected expenses. Whatever the circumstance, trying to make ends meet can prove a major source of stress that affects every aspect of our lives.

Yet, the Lord has promised to “meet all our needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) This is not to say God is a genie who’ll fulfill our every whim and wish. Instead, He merely wants us to rest in Him, knowing He will care for us. When we praise Him, despite our needs, He will bless us in our faithfulness to Him.

Health Issues – What good can come of sickness or disease? When our health fails, our bodily strength weakens. Yet, instead of giving in to moments of self-pity and discouragement, the Lord desires us to rely on His strength.

When we surrender ourselves to Him, He grants us peace to journey through hardships alongside Him. Thanking God in the midst of physical weakness, empowers Him to move in our lives and demonstrate His glory.

Separation From a Loved One in Life or in Death – Nothing is more heart-wrenching than being separated from or losing a loved one. When the numbness eases, and the tears flow free, there seems nothing but memories to hold on to.

Yet, the Lord has given His people a precious gift to cling to – the hope of glory, through His Son, Jesus, and the knowledge that we will one day see our loved ones again. Praise be to God for His gift of salvation and for the hope He gives us through His Word.

God bless you as you rest in Him through life’s journey!

Cynthia Roemer About Cynthia Roemer

Cynthia Roemer is a Christian writer from rural Illinois with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the lives of others through her writing. She and her husband, Marvin, have been married for twenty-two years and have two teenage sons. Find out more at her website: http://cynthiaroemer.com/

Comments

  1. Hi Cynthia! I loved your post. Your words are always so encouraging. This reminded me of something I read in my morning devotional by Charles Spurgeon…

    “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16

    “I have graven *thee*. It does not say, ‘Thy name.’ The name is there, but that is not all. ‘I have graven *thee*.’ See the fullness of this! I have graven thy person, thine image, thy case, thy circumstances, thy sins, thy temptations, thy weaknesses, thy wants, thy works; I have graven *thee*, everything about thee, all that concerns thee; I have put thee altogether there. Wilt thou ever say again that thy God hath forsaken thee when He has graven *thee* upon His own palms?”

    I loved that! Like you said above, even in the difficult moments, God is always there with us. I never want to lose sight of that.

    Thanks for sharing this post! I’m thankful for your friendship!

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  2. Linda Glaz says:

    Amen, wonderful time with family

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing this, Savanna. What a beautiful thought! So blessed by your friendship!

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  4. Thanks so much for stopping by, Linda! Blessings!

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  5. Timely words. The holidays bring a twinge of sadness along with joy for so many of us. Personally, l needed the reminder of God’s gift of hope. Thank you.

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  6. Laurie Driesen says:

    Thanks for the reminder to thank God for everything – even painful things. After all, it’s the pain that He uses as a tool in His hands to make us more like Christ. How can we not thank Him for that? Everyone has felt those examples you mentioned. Thanks for turning them into something we should consider blessings!

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  7. Thanks for your comment, Becky. And thank God for His timely prompting! Our hope is in Him. My heart goes out to all who’ve suffered loss and are facing the holidays for the first times without their loved ones.

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  8. Amen, Laurie! God is good.

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  9. Well done, sister! The Bible says to give thanks IN all things, not necessarily FOR all things, and it’s IN those times you mentioned that we do, indeed, see His all-encompassing love and strength to get us through it all. Blessings, Sophie

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  10. Amen, Sophie! So thankful that in God’s wisdom, He is able to work all things for our good. God bless!

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  11. “Pain is a catalyst for growth.” Love this line! It isn’t something we often want to admit, but it is so true! All the things that have caused me pain have given me an opportunity to look toward God and grow. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. God’s blessings to you, Toni! It’s so comforting to know the Lord has our back!

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  13. Thanks, Lisa, for passing this piece along! God bless!

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  14. Cynthia,

    As always, your posts encourage the heart and mind, offering hope to everyone who reads–including myself. 🙂 Thank you for being a bright spot in a dark moment.

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  15. Thanks, Tish! So grateful to know the Lord used this article to touch your heart. Always great to hear from you! Blessings!

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  16. Cynthia, thank you for sharing your heart! This was a beautiful read, and came to me and a perfect time. God is so good!

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    Cynthia Roemer

    Cynthia Roemer Reply:

    Yes He is! Thanks for taking time to read and share! Blessings, my friend!

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  17. Ann Doohan says:

    Hi Cynthia, i found something to be thankful for even when my husband has a serious kidney problem, i am grateful he is not bad while waiting for his op and for small mercies each day, blessings.

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  18. That’s wonderful, Ann! Thanks for sharing!

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  1. […] On giving thanks in tough times: Thanksgiving is right around the corner. What do we do with the situations in our lives that aren’t so easy to be thankful for, the struggles and hardships we all face along life’s journey?  Like pain, finances, health issues, grief … Read Post […]

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