Have you ever felt unsettled? Things just weren’t going right or your world turned upside down? Maybe you’ve lost your job or maybe can’t find a job. Maybe you’re facing foreclosure or bankruptcy. Maybe you’ve lost someone very dear to you either suddenly or through a long illness, or maybe a loved one is suffering with an illness. Maybe you have children who have lost their way and you’re not sure where they are. Maybe a good friend has betrayed you. Maybe your health is not what it used to be. Maybe you’re experiencing depression or fear. The “maybe” list can go on and on.
Life can be hard! During this week of Thanksgiving, how can someone be thankful when life is hard? How do you do hard and be thankful at the same time?
Being thankful is a choice and is mentioned many times in the Bible. When it says to come before the LORD with thanksgiving (Psalms 95 & 100, etc.), it doesn’t give any stipulations like “when everything is going right” or “when we ‘feel’ like we have something to be thankful for.” There is always something to be thankful for, and we might have to ask God to open our eyes to see the many blessings around us.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
In every situation.. Not just certain situations. And thanksgiving goes right along with prayer. While we are in prayer, we can give all the hard things in life over to God and give Him our worries. When we stop feeling like we are in control and realize that God is in ultimate control, then and only then can we stop being anxious. Somehow that opens our hearts and eyes to see all the things we do have to be thankful for.
The Bible also tells us that we need to come before God like little children. He is our heavenly Father, our Creator, the God who knows us.
He (Jesus) called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2
Have you listened to the prayer of a child recently? Have you noticed that sometimes they pray for everything, simple things, things that adults often take for granted? God is the Creator of everything. They are coming before God with thanksgiving for everything, no matter how simple.
Maybe these two Bible verses can help us to open our eyes, come before God as children, give Him all our worries, and truly come before Him with thanksgiving…in every situation! When we focus on being thankful to God, our eyes are opened to the abundance of blessings we have to be thankful for… no matter how hard our life is at the time.