Thanksgiving everyday

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We have opportunities throughout the day, everyday to either be thankful or thankless.

I heard someone ask the question a few days ago, “Why does God make some people more miserable than others?” I was struck by that. There are certainly some people who have different challenges in life than others do.

But our joy is not meant to be subject to our circumstances. Just because one person endures difficulties does not mean that they will necessarily be more miserable. Regardless of what we are going through, there can be joy found in the Lord and in His blessings. It can be so easy to focus on negatives, what we don’t like, what we wish was different. It can be easy to fall into the trap of constant grumbling and complaining.

The Apostle Paul talks about rejoicing and thankfulness in several of his letters. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6-7). Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20).

For Christians, we have reasons to be joyful and thankful everyday. Jesus Christ welcomes us into a relationship with God, welcomes us into life, and forgives us of our sins. Even on the darkest days, there are reasons to praise God. It’s a lie of western cultures that God is only good to us when we seem to be obviously blessed and content.

And there are many other things to be thankful for. For Americans, some of these are things that can be easy to take for granted. There’s the people in our lives whom we love and who love us. If you have a roof over your head, running water and electricity, those are luxuries in many parts of the world. We can be thankful for the beauty of nature and the wonder of a sunset. We can be thankful for each day we have. We never know when the end of our life will be. And we should cherish each day we have. And each day is an opportunity to worship, to pray, to rejoice, to love, to laugh, and to grow.

The difficulties in our lives have shaped the people we’ve become. And the difficulties of today will shape the people we become. And we can use the difficulties and challenges to become better, stronger, more compassionate, more empathetic people. Or we can get bitter and cynical. We can use our experiences from those difficulties and challenges to help us be there for others who are in the same boat. It’s not that we have to like difficulties for their own sake.

We have opportunities throughout the day, everyday to either be thankful or thankless.

jrb

 

 

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