The Art of Being Thankful … Even in 2020
“God wants to see prayers that are filled with genuine praise and thanksgiving for what He has done in the past. He wants our hearts to be filled with awe and gratitude for His blessings. He wants us to set up memorials in our hearts testifying to the provisions He has given us.” —Michael Youssef
How in the world can we be truly thankful this year? Millions of Americans are struggling under the weight of financial insecurity. Political tensions and racial unrest have led to fear and uncertainty. Out west, lives and livelihoods were destroyed by raging wildfires, while millions in coastal towns lost everything to hurricane winds and rain. Many thousands of our fellow citizens will have empty chairs at their holiday tables, having lost loved ones to COVID-19, cancer, suicide, or otherwise.
According to 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we are supposed to give thanks in all circumstances, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
This verse does not say to be thankful for all circumstances, but in all circumstances. So, when trouble abounds and life is hard, how can gratitude permeate our thinking, our words, and our actions?
Here’s a good place to start … three things to be thankful for — even in 2020:
#1 — You have hope.
“Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life” (Psalm 119:49).
Where would you be without the hope of Christ? Thank goodness, you don’t have to wonder! You have the promise of a perfect future with Him.
#2 — You are never alone.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
Even in your darkest moments, God is there. The Maker of the Universe cares intimately about what you are going through. Cling to Him when you are in the “fiery furnace” of life, and be grateful for His constant presence.
#3 — God is in control.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21).
Let this fill your heart and flood your thoughts today: God is still on the throne. No matter who holds the position of President. Or Senator. Or Representative. Ultimately, His purposes and plans will stand. This is a great encouragement for us today and always … a cause for thanksgiving!
My prayer this week—Lord, prepare my heart to be thankful. Not just on a national holiday, but always! Help me see past the struggles of this world, the pains of humanity … and hold fast to the hope I have in you. Help me be thankful for your goodness and allow that gratitude to guide my words and actions so that others might always see YOU.