It's a big thing this time of year. When Susannah e-mailed me about this month's link-up, I knew that I wanted to reflect on this topic a bit more. Yesterday, I posted some things I am thankful for...this year and every year. But what it comes down to is WHO should we be giving thanks to??
For me, the answer to this question is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that I fail over and over at even taking time to pray some days, but when I do, I try to remember to give thanks for all of my blessings. Does that mean that I list EVERY single thing that I'm thankful for? No. He knows. It's just important to take the time to express that gratitude to Him.
"Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind..."
Psalm 107:15 (NIV)
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name." Psalm 100:4 (NIV)
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..." James 1:17 (NIV) Does this mean that our lives will be perfect and God will only allow great and wonderful things to happen to us? Unfortunately, it doesn't. We're not promised that life will be easy. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NIV
That, my friends, is why we should be thanking Him, and NOT just when things are good, but in ALL things. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) Emphasis added
It's not easy to give thanks when things aren't going the way you want. It's not easy to give thanks when you are hurting. It's not easy to give thanks when things around you are falling apart. But it is God's will that we do. There is always something good in our lives. When times get tough, we need to think of those things and give God thanks for them. He will bring us through the difficult times. As stated above from John 16, He has already overcome the world! We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13)
There is a beautiful song by Casting Crowns that really hits on giving thanks in difficult circumstances, and I leave you with the video. Take a few moments to listen.