Give Thanks Anyway
The last twenty months have taken their toil.
We all hoped 2021 would be better than 2020, didn’t we? Surely, we thought, life can’t get crazier than living through a pandemic!
But for many of us, 2021 has been worse, not better, which leaves us with a Thanksgiving dilemma: How do we say “thank you” when life is difficult? Should we give thanks when life is difficult? Isn’t giving thanks “just because” disingenuous?
As it turns out, giving thanks in spite of our circumstances, not merely because of our circumstances, has profound positive implications for our lives.
Why Giving Thanks Anyway Matters:
Giving Thanks Pleases God and It Benefits Us
(1 These 5:16-18)
God’s Word instructs us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (note that the verse does not say “give thanks FOR all circumstances.”)
Giving thanks in the midst of difficult circumstances allows a heart change to take place–one we genuinely need when life is tough and we’re barely hanging on.
In pausing to give thanks, our mind shifts from what generates heartache to what generates hope. We begin the process of exchanging anguish for assurance and hurt for healing. God’s command to give thanks in all circumstances shows His tender care for our souls; the command isn’t as much for God’s benefit as it is for ours.
That said, giving thanks in difficulty does please God. Sometimes, thankfulness is a sheer act of obedience. Anyone can give thanks when life is good; giving thanks when life is tough shows our dependence and trust in our heavenly Father–the very definition of authentic faith.
When we give thanks anyway, we offer God a sacrifice of praise, and He is pleased.
2. Giving Thanks Helps Us See Our Blessings
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to focus on what you don’t have rather than what you do have? Or how you can become consumed by what isn’t right in your life rather than what is right in your life?
Giving thanks open our eyes to see the fullness of God’s blessings–and they are everywhere! Sometimes, though, we need a reminder to look.
3. Giving Thanks Helps Us Remember Every Good Gift Comes from God
On the first Thanksgiving the early settlers set aside a day to say thank you. To whom? To God! They recognized the truth found in James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
This week, I’m following the Pilgrim’s lead by taking time to say, “thank you” to God.
Despite the hardships of 2020 and 2021, I have much to be grateful for: Salvation. The certain hope of heaven. Forgiveness, Love. Purpose.
And, of course, family, friends, and you!!
May God bless you richly this Thanksgiving.
You are loved,
PS. Donna would love to connect with you on Instagram @donnaajones or @donnajonesspeaker.
AND, Look for her new Podcast coming January 2022!
More than a Bible teacher, Donna is a self-described Bible explainer. A colorful storyteller who combines Biblical truth with real-life anecdotes, her messages not only help listeners understand God’s Word, but most important, grasp how to live it out in real life.