This is the time of year when people will be doing “Thankful Challenges”…
and other people will remind us that we should be thankful all year ’round, not just in November.
And we should be thankful all year long.
Paul instructed us to be thankful in all circumstances.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This doesn’t sound very hard, until you’re faced with a huge financial setback, a child who is very ill and in the hospital, marriage trouble, or a health crisis.
Suddenly, our mind is gripped with worry and anxiety. Frustration overtakes us and plants seeds of doubt in our mind and we begin questioning God.
We start to second-guess ourselves, wondering if we somehow stepped out of God’s will. We begin to think that if we were truly in the will of God that these bad things wouldn’t happen to us.
There are two things we need to remember in being thankful when life goes sideways:
1. We need to ask the right questions. In this post: Are You Asking the Right Question? I point out that the right question isn’t why, but what.
2. Being in God’s will doesn’t protect us from bad things happening to us, it enables us to walk through difficult circumstances with peace and joy.
3. Being thankful always is God’s will, so if you want to know what God’s will for your life is, now you know.
By now I’m sure you’re wondering how you could possibly be thankful for a child who is very ill or a marriage that is on the rocks.
Paul didn’t say, “For everything give thanks…”, but “In everything give thanks…”
In other words, just because you’re facing a trial or, as my dad terms “waves of adversity” doesn’t mean you stop finding reasons to live thankful.
Learning to live life through a prism of thankfulness and gratefulness is a discipline that helps keep our heart free from trap of entitlement and ungratefulness that leads to bitterness, selfishness, and pride.
For this reason I think November is a great time of year to remind ourselves of this important lesson. What’s more, I think it is the best start to our holiday season.
Begin to create a pattern of living thankful so that as we approach Christmas we aren’t consumed with what we want more than we are with celebrating Christ’s birth.
You can also get this 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Thanksgiving. I have found 30 verses that talk about thanksgiving or praise (which is often just another word for thankful), to remind ourselves to be thankful always.
As with all of our prayer challenges, you can use the 30 Day Prayer Challenge for Thanksgiving all year long!
Let’s start off this holiday season with training our hearts and minds to default to thankfulness…
in every situation
in every circumstance
in every trial
in every setback
until we can face each one with peace, joy, and a secure faith in knowing that God is always in control and will somehow turn each circumstance around for His glory!