So many people have deemed 2020 a wash. One person even said they want to skip right to Christmas, because there is nothing to be thankful for. That’s pretty sad to hear.
Yes, this year was by far the most difficult, most confusing, most daunting year some(most) of us have ever experienced. With covid starting in early Feb/March, riots closer to some of our homes than we’d ever imagined would be. A crazy election year, coupled with ghost phone calls and text messages resulting in many calls going unanswered, the thought of ‘if its important they’ll leave a message’ rang through all of our minds. Friends no longer friends because of political affiliation. Families have been divided, schools closed, lives lost due to the virus, and people are without jobs and the list goes on and on. This year gas been hard, and I would argue that many, many people are extremely weary. And guess what? I, we have been in that place too. Sometimes, we still are.
In ALL things give thanks
I Thessalonians 5:18- Give thanks in all circumstances….
The word of God exhorts us to give thanks in all circumstances. One of the pastors at our church says often “What does the word ALL mean in the Greek?” We’re all now certain of what it means, and promptly yell back to him “ALL”
The point is, that all, means all! This is also something that we talk about often here at FFM, because this is a truth that is most forgotten when we face tough times.
Life is going to be tough, but unfortunately, her in western society, when things get tough our spoiled culture starts complaining.
Really, family, we whine and complain about every little thing, until we ‘think’ we get OUR way, then like little babies, we’re good. Then, life gets hard again, and we whine and complain until things seem to go OUR way again. It’s a vicious cycle western culture has grown to become very good at. But let’s look at the second part of I Thessalonians... “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”
There is nothing there in that scripture about whining and complaining until you get ‘your’ way, then being thankful in that circumstance. No, give thanks in ALL circumstances for this is GOD’s WILL for our lives.
I hate to say it, but IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!!! It’s about the Lord, who does everything according to His will to fulfill His purpose and plan. The Lord, who smote the Egyptians first born boys in His plan to save the Israelites. Our Lord, who allowed for Joseph to be kidnapped and thrown into prison to again save His people. Our God, who allowed for the worse possible execution to come upon His one and only Son to, yet again, save His beloved children. This is our God, He is God, the one and only God, who instructs us to be thankful in all circumstances, no matter how hard He allows life to be for us in that circumstance.
Nothing to be thankful for
I Thessalonians is not the easiest scripture to share with people who are hurting, who feel like all hope is gone. Who feel like life as they know it is over? It’s not easy to share any scripture with those individuals really. How dare I say something like that? Because I understand that place of intense hurt, a feeling as if nothing could ever help it to subside. I know that feeling of despair, as if God has left me, and that no way God would want or expect me to thank Him at a time like this. I also know that some people are in that place right at this moment. As if there is nothing at all to be thankful for. There is too much pain to be thankful. You maybe feel as if you could never feel thankful again.
Brother, sister, I’m here to tell you, that’s the enemy talking. He came to steal, kill, and destroy your hopefulness, your joy, and your thanksgiving. God gave us this instruction for our good. He wouldn’t tell us that we should do something unless He knew that we could do it. So even during many trials, tribulations, persecutions, and hard circumstances, there is always something we can have a heart of thanksgiving and be thankful for.
12 areas where we can be thankful ALWAYS
· Christ died for those who believe in Him (you and me)
· God loves us
· The parents, here or passed on, that did the best they knew to do in raising us
· We woke up this morning
· That we have another opportunity to share the gospel
· That God has given us another day with our spouse
· God has sustained us thus far
· Our hearts are beating
· We are able to read or listen to His word when ever we’d like
· We have food, no matter how much or how little on our plates
· We have some type off transportation whether it be healthy feet to walk on, buses to ride on, bikes to go where we need, or cars that get us where we need to go
· We have eyes to see no matter if glasses are required or not
You see, we have many things to be thankful for amid these ugly circumstances, and these are just the tip of the iceberg.
So, let’s stop looking at 2020 as a wash and remember that this is the year (2020) that He has made, let us be glad and very thankful for it!
Be Faithful, Be Free
T & E Young