Have you ever been so horrifically devastated by life’s circumstances that the words, “Thank you, Jesus” get stuck in your throat? You know the words of Paul, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18) but somehow you don’t feel like giving thanks for what you are currently facing.
If you just received a bad report from the doctor, lost your job (especially before the holidays), were handed an eviction notice, divorce papers or news that a loved one unexpectedly died, your first words, if any, might not be, “Thank you, Lord.” Yet we’re admonished to do just that, but we can only do it by the grace (empowerment) of God.
The holidays are upon us, and for some, it’s the happiest time of the year, but for others, it’s the saddest. It’s easy to give thanks when you feel blessed but very hard for those who are suffering. This year has been devastating to the many who lost their homes and loved ones in the California wildfires. Others faced horrific losses through hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. Not to mention the unexpected mass murder in Las Vegas and the most recent attack on worshippers in a small town in Texas.
They will sit across the Thanksgiving table somewhere this week even though their pain is great and the wounds are still open. God understands. He’s the God of all comfort.
Jesus promised us that in this world (system) we would have tribulation but admonished us to “be of good cheer” because He has overcome the world (see John 16:33). He suffered more than any one of us, yet when facing His betrayer at the Last Supper, He stopped to give thanks before sharing his heart and the bread with His disciples. read more