Being Thankful Through Tough Times
November 16, 2016

Rediscover the Bible for Life

“Being Thankful Through Tough Times”

By Dennis Lee

Everyone goes through difficulties and has to endure through tough times. But as we approach this season of Thanksgiving it’s not enough to just endure; we must learn how to be thankful through it all if we’re to receive all the goodness of the Lord.

On the Holmes Stress Scale that lists the 100 most stressful events they discovered the single most stressful time of the year is this time between Thanksgiving and New Years.

It’s during this time we start worrying about our finances. We worry if we will have enough time, energy, and patience to endure. We worry about getting together with the relatives, those that we would never see even if we were paid to do so. It’s no longer a season to be jolly, rather it more of a season to get uptight.

It’s also the season when the tough times seem to get tougher as some of our loved ones are no longer with us, and feelings of loneliness seem to overwhelm us.

But Paul tells us about our need to have joy no matter what our situation may be.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)

How is this possible? Can we rejoice in every trial and circumstance? How can we be joyful when our country seems to be going into the toilet? How can we be joyful when we don’t know when or where another terrorist attack will take place? How can we be joyful when our loved ones are no longer with us? How can we be joyful when times are tough?

Paul gives to us a winning strategy.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

We must possess an attitude of gratitude.

“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Giving of thanks is more than an action, it’s an attitude, and it’s something we need to do at all times, not just when we feel like it, or when something good happens. It’s having an attitude of thanksgiving even when things don’t always go the way we want them. It’s being grateful in everything.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

When we have an attitude of gratitude it’ll make our messes into messages of hope, and our tests will become our testimonies.

And it’s not about just being obedient. It’s also about being willing. It’s going beyond obedience into willingness. It’s being willing to be grateful in everything.

All it takes to have that attitude of gratitude is to have an attitude adjustment. If you’ve had a rotten attitude about whatever you’re going through, you can change it by confessing it and asking God to forgive and cleanse you from it.

Gratitude is an attitude. Begin by thanking God today.

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