Thanksgiving Day is next Thursday, November 22nd--the special time set aside to express our thanks to God for His bountiful blessings. Food items were already out of stock on grocery shelves because many are preparing for a big celebration with family and dear friends! While gathered around the dining table expressions of gratitude will be shared for various reasons. The most common reason for being thankful is for family, health, and, of course, LIFE itself.
It is this reason that causes a piercing in my heart and even feelings of guilt. I began to question my right to celebrate while many are feeling the pain from broken hearts because life in this earthly realm is no more.
While I’m celebrating life, they are mourning death. While I am expressing thanks for my life and my “living” family members, they are making funeral arrangements for theirs.
Yet, the Word of God says, “…in everything give thanks…”
“In every situation (no matter what the circumstances) be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 Amplified
Really, Lord, after receiving sudden news of the death of a family member, or a very dear friend just three days before Thanksgiving?
Really, Lord, I am to give thanks after receiving a death sentence from a terminal illness?
Really, Lord, give thanks when my child is diagnosed with cancer?
Really, Lord, give thanks when my dear parents and grandparents are living in another world and don’t even know it’s Thanksgiving Day?
Why would You instruct me to give thanks in every situation no matter what the circumstances, I am to be thankful?
As I meditated on this, and from my own experience, I have learned that my giving thanks is not necessarily for the situation I am in. I am not being thankful for pain and unpleasantness of my circumstances. My expression of thanks is a declaration of my faith in God. It is my way of saying to the Lord, “I trust You.” The more thankful I am FOR and TO Him, the more He releases me of the burden and gives me peace to go through the process. Although I don’t fully understand or even like the situation I am in and the circumstances I am facing, when I give God thanks and praise a supernatural exchange takes place. He replaces my fear with faith and my pain with purpose. The more I praise Him and offer unto Him the “sacrifice” of praise with a grateful heart, He gives supernatural strength. The sufficiency of His grace is manifested, and I am empowered to endure the process.
Being thankful in every situation positions me in the very presence of God to receive supernatural ability to handle life’s challenging times.
Whatever the circumstances you face today, my prayer is that you can give thanks to Him as a declaration of your faith in Him; your trust in His faithfulness. Give thanks to Him because He is right there in the situation with you, just as He was in the fiery furnace with the Hebrew boys (Daniel 3:24-27).
©2017 Queen Esther Phillips. Majestic Worldwide Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.