How Can I Be Thankful?

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34-36

How can I be thankful when everything this year has gone wrong? I have lost a few lifelong friends. I have watched others suffer. My family relationships are strained. Things aren’t going my way. My heart is heavy.

As I ponder this past year, Your Holy Spirit speaks to my heart to quit focusing on my struggles and focus on Your plan for my life.Your truth tells me, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4 ESV). 

Lord, I know I tend to focus on things that are going wrong and not what You are doing in my life. I know Your ways are perfect and I will lift my hands in praise and thanksgiving – today and everyday – and trust in Your goodness. For You are so good! I will be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. I will follow Your plan and celebrate this day of Thanksgiving.

Resentment Doesn’t Work!

When I think about Job’s friends, Job had every right to resent them. The seven days when Job’s friends simply sat with him in silence would have been enough. But then they began to speak, doling out criticisms and misrepresenting both You, God, and Job in the process. They thought their words were holy and sound, but they were not based in truth.

As I read Job’s story and his friends’ gross misinterpretation of truth, I cringe. Job could’ve easily turned away from You and his friends. He could’ve turned from truth and turned toward resentment, but he didn’t. It’s a good lesson—one the body of Christ needs to take to heart. You call Your servants to places of suffering in certain times of life, not as a punishment but as a means to learn to trust You more deeply.

Lord, You show me that resentment doesn’t work. The bitterness destroys the heart and it destroys my relationship with You. I cannot resent others and love them at the same time. If I am a follower of You, I must stand firm in Your love and truth even when I am faced with criticism. You are the only One that I long to please. 

* I Seek Truth is written in first person as if you were the one talking to your Heavenly Father.

 

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