This Thanksgiving, when listing your top ten blessings, or 26 of them from A to Z, count your frustrations, your mistakes, your enemies, your fears, and even your sins. Have these ever made the list? Why not?
Well, we’d rather not deal with troubles, stress and pain, and certainly we’d rather not give them an opening to ruin an otherwise happy Thanksgiving.
So shake things up a little this year. When others ask you what you’re thankful for, say, “My diabetes,” or “That I lost my job last month,” or “This year I’ll be separated from my family.” Huh? When they look at you strangely, then explain, “Because I’m thankful from the inside.”
That’s how the Bible characterizes the person who is truly thankful. Like Solomon, who knew world-renowned wealth, wisdom and power, then lost it all. You’d think he’d be a bit sour when reflecting on his losses, but instead he advises, “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other” (Ecclesiastes 7:14).
Job put it similarly when he praised the Lord after all the employees of his company were killed by an enemy attack, he lost his income-producing livestock, and his children were killed in a deadly tornado. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).
These men show us how to be thankful from the inside. Don’t let external circumstances dictate your level of thanksgiving. Instead, look at every circumstance from a perspective of faith in the Lord God.
No matter what we experience, it is connected to the Lord’s unfailing love.
PRAYER: “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread” (Proverbs 30:5-8).
FURTHER MEDITATION: Reflect on this: do believers influence others better by being thankful for easy things or difficult things?