Giving Thanks in Hard Times
Hello, dear readers!
This week is a holiday special because Thanksgiving is upon us. But what if you’ve had a rough year or you’re going through a tough time, and you don’t feel like giving thanks? Then I hope you find some comfort in this week’s blog as I address that.
Examples of Giving Thanks in Hard Times
The Bible provides good examples of people with hardships and how they handled it. In the following circumstances, it would be understandable for people to harden their hearts, but these heroes of faith had extraordinary responses.
Job suddenly lost his wealth, children and health. What tragedy! (See the Book of Job.) He complained and defended himself as he and his friends struggled to understand. However, he maintained his faith in God saying, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him” (Job 13:15).
In the end, Job was humbled as God emphasized His sovereignty and wisdom, especially compared to human limitations. Then “the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:12).
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers (Genesis 37:18-36). Then he was falsely accused of sexual assault and thrown in jail (Genesis 39:6-20). His life sounds like a nightmare. Still, he served God and others faithfully (Genesis 39:23). Years later, God intervened in an amazing way because Joseph became second in command in Egypt (Genesis, Chapter 41).
Jesus knew when He was about to be tortured and killed. How stressful! Yet, He gave thanks for the bread and wine at His last supper–even as His betrayer was sitting at the table (Luke 22:1-23). Furthermore, He told His disciples, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Like Jesus, we can be grateful in the midst of difficult circumstances by remembering that He has overcome the world. Reflecting on the stories of Job and Joseph, we can trust God and His sovereignty even when we don’t understand why bad things happen to us.
Ways To Give Thanks
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to read Psalm 136, which is an expression of gratitude to God for all His goodness, and especially for His faithful love. And please enjoy this song, “Thank You, Lord” by Don Moen.
In summary, God is still trustworthy and sovereign during hard times. And His love is everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3). (For more details about focusing on God’s love, see the posts, “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem,” “The Real Truth About God,” and “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps.”) Thus, we can give thanks for His mercy and unconditional love and for the fact that He has overcome the world. 🕯
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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If you would like to read more on similar topics, check out the following blogs:
* “Finding Hope in Difficult Times“
* “The Ultimate Guide to Beating the Holiday Blues“
* “Want to Stop Feeling Depressed? Here’s How“
* “6 Effective Ways To Manage Stress“
* “How To Be Happy Single“
* “Coping with the Death of a Loved One“
* “Family Feud? Here Are 5 Things To Do“
* “How To Avoid Resentment in a Midlife Crisis“
* “5 Ways To Show Your Family Gratitude” by Dr. Tiffany Harrison
* “Mending a Broken Heart: 8 Methods to Ease Your Pain.”
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