Let’s be downright honest…not everyone enjoys Thanksgiving. Studies show that the holidays bring about an increase in depression, loneliness and the family feuds.The holidays also tempt us to shop till we drop, possibly leaving our pocketbooks and financial condition in a state of disarray. While everyone appears to be reveling in the holiday cheer (and boasting about it on facebook and twitter), plenty of experts say it just isn’t true.
“I think a lot of people would say that the holidays are the worst time of the year,” says Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “They’re just straight up miserable, and that’s not only for people with clinical depression.”
So, while many of us may appear to be cheerful on the outside, I thought it might be helpful to bring our insides along for the ride.
God is good. Period. He will always be good. In fact, goodness cannot be separated from Him. It is who He is…and part of His character. All good is from Him, as there is no good in any of us apart from Him (see Psalm 16:2). The news has been captivating our attention with plenty of bad. What about taking a moment and praising God for all the good. Flip your perspective around and be thankful for the good people you know, the good food you inhaled today, the good roof over your head, and the good Father who has provided.
The indescribable gift is God’s grace, which granted us unmerited favor. God gave us His One and Only Son so that we might be saved from the penalty of eternal death. Regardless of your age, marital status, education, finances, looks–God freely gives grace.
We can be thankful in the midst of pain and suffering because we know that Jesus suffered on our behalf. When we are weak, we know that Christ is strong. Our afflictions are momentary, and we can know that one day He will wipe away every tear from our eye (see Revelation 21:4).
We can be thankful for fellow believers, who sojourn along our side. Bringing us much encouragement. Cheering us to keep on keeping on. Sharing their struggles with us, making us realize we all have hurts inside. That’s why we need a Savior.
Praise God for His glorious deeds. His wonderful, splendid, marvelous, and brilliantly beautiful deeds. They are too numerous for us to recount. Remind yourself of God’s magnificent acts throughout Scripture. Remember all the good things in your lifetime as well.
Wait for it. Wait for God to answer your prayers with unwavering resolution. Trust that He will come through! Believe He is able! Remain firmly fixed with your eyes directed on Him. And while you wait, be thankful. You can be thankful because God does answer prayer. He has not forgotten you.
God doesn’t size us up based on our paychecks or list of accomplishments. Our identity is secure in Him because of Jesus. Whether you feel like you have accomplished much or little–it doesn’t matter in God’s eyes. He is asking us to be faithful in both the big and the small. In fact, it is probably much more difficult to be thankful in the small, petty stuff that nobody notices. When you don’t receive a pat on the back. When nobody even sees you are there. Give thanks in the little things you do each and every day. Even when it seems insignificant. Thank God you have dishes to do and laundry to fold. Thank Him for the newly discovered crayon marks on the wall. Thank Him for reminding you the small stuff really does matter…because it is changing you.
Thank God for listening. When no one else seems to care…God is there. He feels your deepest sorrow. He empathizes with your current struggle.
WHAT OTHER THINGS ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?