You’re thankful for what???
I see so many of my friends make posts about things they are thankful for in the month of November, and they always make me smile. It warms my heart to read their gratitude and to ponder my own thankful thoughts.
Something came to me, though, as I was looking through all these posts, and it hasn’t left my thoughts since. Not once have I seen someone say they are grateful for something that is, shall we say, less than pleasant. I have yet to see, for example, a post thanking God for Mondays, traffic, or taxes. Those may be humorous examples, but what about the deeper things? Have you seen any posts expressing thanks to God for the loss of a job, an ended relationship, or financial difficulties?
I don’t mean any of this to come across as condescending. I have not really made a post like that myself. But should I? Scripture seems to suggest so:
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
– Ephesians 5:20
Listen, I understand hard times. I have lived through some pretty hard times. I am full of love and empathy for your pain. I have my own pain and I know just how real, consuming, and traumatizing it can be. But I also know that there is something amazing that happens when we stop to thank God for whatever it is we are encountering at the moment. Why? Because it shows God that we trust Him. Likewise, it shows our enemy that we are not allowing this situation to defeat us or tear us from God’s arms.
Note: Thanking God for something doesn’t mean you have to passively roll over and accept every bad thing that crosses your way. You can fight while you praise. In fact, praise is one of our most powerful weapons! There’s something about praise that breaks through our situation in a way little else can. It may not even change your circumstance, but it will change you.
Today, I want to say that I am thankful for every mountain top, but also, for every valley. It was in those times that I grew closest to Jesus and saw His reality in amazing ways.