Can we give thanks for opportunities to forgive? Can we give thanks for the times we’ve felt the loneliest? Can we give thanks for the times we’ve been betrayed and felt the most hurt? The ultimate thanksgiving.
For the joy set before Him, Christ endured the cross. (Hebrews 12:2) Mentally, physically, spiritually, it took all He had and He did it for us.
God is the Giver of all good things. (James 1:17) He is also with us when things and people are taken away. (Joshua 1:9) When we can see these difficult situations as times to deepen our relationship and increase our dependence on Him, we can view them through different lenses. The lenses of thankfulness. Thankful that our God never changes. Thankful that our God is the same God in the good times as in the bad. Thankful that He still died for us. And thankful that He is coming back to take us home.
Can you, like me, look back on your worst times and think, “Wow, I lived through that and I came out closer to Christ. Leaning on Him harder than ever.” I have different trials now. We all do. Can I look at each of these and say “Thank you, Lord.” “Thank you that You hear me and although You have the Power to remove them completely, You may not. You may walk beside me instead.” Either way, Lord, I say thank You.
Those “opportunities” to forgive mean someone has wronged us. That’s never pleasant. Can we, instead, view them as opportunities to catch a glimpse of how much grace God lavishes on us? How often we let Him down and how His love never fails or wavers? Can we forgive someone and say thank You, Lord, for forgiving me…?
Can we say “Thank you God, for what you give. And, thank You for what You do not.” It takes great faith that God IS love to do that.
Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (GNT)
When our child turns away, runs away, or passes away….When our spouse leaves, when our health fails, when our job is uncertain, when money is tight, when tension is high. As tears roll down our face, can we say, “Thank You, Lord, for never forsaking me.”
Because, no matter what, I have this blessed assurance that Jesus is mine…’O what a foretaste of glory divine’…