What if I don’t wanna give thanks…

Hello again!

give thanks

It’s the time of year where we all stop and remember the many blessings we’ve received.  It should be an easy task–it should…

But what about all the stuff that’s going on around us in our world?  Do we give thanks for that?

Or how about the difficulties that happen in our lives?  Do we give thanks for those?

How about the cold, the hunger, the loneliness that some have to endure?  Do we give thanks for those also?

Oh my sweet.  How I have struggled at times to live out this verse.  How I have allowed circumstances to dictate whether or not I praise my Lord.

I have often thought, “What if I don’t wanna give thanks?”

The world in which we live does many things daily, hourly, minutely to silence our voices of thanksgiving.  Planes go down, hospitals get bombed, places of worship become places of murder, young children die, loved ones leave us too soon…this list could go on for days.  It’s really easy to look at the current state of our world and wonder what could possibly happen to make us thankful.

It’s in those moments when we, as children of God, have to step back.  Turn the tv off, put down the phone, move away from the computer.  It’s in those moments when we have to still the voices of our culture.  It’s in those moments when we need to listen, but not to the world and all its chatter.  It’s in those moments when we need to turn our ears to heaven.   And not just our ears, but our hearts, our minds, our souls.

For you see, my friend, when we allow the chaos of the world to invade our souls, we lose our voice of thanksgiving.  We cannot see the blessings, we cannot see the sacrifices, we cannot see the love.  Our voice of thanksgiving gets lost in all the bad stuff that happens around us.  We become focused on our circumstance…

…instead of our “birthright.”  If we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we are born-again (spiritually speaking, of course).  We have been adopted into the family of God.  Not for a moment, but for all eternity.  The things of this world will pass away–all that junk that happens will one day fade–and we will spend forever and a day with our Lord.

We live in a fallen world.  Bad stuff has happened, is happening, and will happen until the glorious day that we see Jesus face-to-face.  This world, though created by God, has a powerful enemy that seeks to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  Our enemy will do whatever he can to silence our voice of thanksgiving.  He does not want us to focus on God, and the awesome riches that our Savior gives.  By allowing circumstance to dictate our praise, we give the enemy just what he wants–silent followers of God.

Sweetheart, I have allowed my voice to be silenced.  I have given my enemy permission to change my focus.  I have walked through my life thinking “what if I don’t wanna give thanks?”

But I am here to tell you that I, you, we, cannot walk that way.  Circumstances may be awful, life may be soooo hard, friendships may be hurtful, relationships may be vengeful.  We may be deep in a valley, with little light shining in.  In order for our voice to not be silenced, we have to change our perspective.

Find something, anything, no matter how small–whatever God points out to you as a good thing.  Focus on that.  It may be the smile on a loved one’s face, or the laughter of a young child in the midst of trial, or the phone call that comes at just the right moment.  All of these are small, but are blessings nonetheless.  It doesn’t take some big act of goodness to change our focus.  What it does take, however, is a mind and heart set on the ready–ready to see and receive the blessings, in whatever form they may come.

Today, my friend, I encourage you to memorize our verse.  Our God is good.  In the great times, in the so-so times, in the difficult times.  He is always good.  He is always at work in our lives.  He is always present, always faithful, always loving.  We, as His children, need to both remember those things and trust in those things…

…for when we do, it becomes much easier to “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.”

Happy Thanksgiving!  May you spend your day giving thanks for the many blessings–and have eyes to see those blessings even when the view is less than perfect!

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