Often at this time of year, you will hear people talk about how they are trying to be intentionally grateful in preparation for Thanksgiving. They may start some form of a running list or create a daily Instagram post with someone or something for which they are grateful. Typically these lists start with people and relationships, but quickly shift to other things, such as chocolate cake, white-out or their adorable puppy named Muffin.
If you were to peruse those lists, you would find that many (if not all) of the things for which people are grateful belong in the “blessing” category. Typically these lists don’t include hardships, suffering or difficulty. That seems counterintuitive.
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks IN all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18. You will notice that this scripture challenges us to give thanks IN all of our circumstances, but not necessarily for all of them!
Now this scripture is probably not new to you, but have you thought about what would happen if we actually began to thank the Lord IN all of the circumstances of our lives, whether great or difficult?” What would begin to happen to our hearts as we chose gratitude in all of it? What would the Lord be permitted to do in our hearts and lives as we did? What would we carry differently into Thanksgiving this year?
This week we encourage you to push past the gratitude list that is only full of good things, like chocolate cake, and think on some of the areas that have been difficult. As you do, begin to thank Him IN the midst of those things and for His faithfulness IN those areas.