To give thanks is easy sometimes.
We’ve all experienced moments when something wonderful happened or we received a great blessing, and we knew it was God; easy then to gush with appreciation, right? We laugh and smile, jump up and down, and give God the glory due.
What about when something not so great occurs? We’re supposed to give thanks anyway? It isn’t so easy to be grateful for trials, is it?
I’ve had several such moments in my life—good and not so good—when God really moved, but I wasn’t always thankful. Through them, I came to understand God uses the hard times to teach me, mold me, increase my faith and trust in Him.
That helped me to see how I should be thankful when it seems all has gone wrong. Being thankful in all circumstances is important to God. No matter what comes, it’s for a purpose, and He uses it all for good.
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Ephesians 5:20
When my mom died, I was devastated, but I tried to be thankful. She’d suffered horribly with great difficulty breathing because of emphysema, nearly doubled over from osteoporosis, cancer had claimed one kidney, and she fought a slow growing bladder cancer that required surgery every eighteen months or so. I thanked God for taking her home, knowing that she was healthy once more and rejoicing with Him.
The months following her death, a constant series of things to do kept me busy. With all the ups and downs that accompany the loss of a loved one, I found it so hard to stay thankful. I missed Mom. I struggled with being thankful and prayed for God’s mercy.
The latest issue involved my house. Though my name was on the title, my mother had taken an equity loan with her credit union four years earlier to pay off bills, make some home improvements, and prepay her final arrangements. My name wasn’t on the loan. We were told that when she passed, I just had to continue making house payments, and it wouldn’t be necessary.
When I notified them she had passed, they informed me either the note had to be defaulted or refinanced—which quadrupled the amount and tripled the payment. Panic hit me. How could I manage those payments? Would I lose the house? Where would I go? I sat on the couch to cry.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I called a friend, and we prayed loud, fervent prayers. “I trust You, Lord!”
Five minutes after we hung up, the phone rang. The loan officer at the credit union had reconsidered his position and allowed me to assume the loan as it was; no changes. I raised my hands to the sky in praise! “Thank You, Lord! That was all You!”
To this day, I thank Him every day everywhere! I give thanks in the shower, in the car, and at work. I thank Him for the trials, the lessons they bring, for His love, His mercies, my friends, for my life! It all has a purpose and is a blessing only God can give.
How about you? Are you lifting your hands to Him? Do you give thanks always?
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