The other night after climbing into bed, I was flipping through the channels when something on that ghastly channel TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) caught my attention. Jack and Rexella Van Impe were talking about Thanksgiving and what they were thankful for. Jack said that he first started to write down the things that he wasn’t thankful for. He almost immediately threw that paper away when he remembered that we are instructed to give thanks IN EVERYTHING.
I thought about that thought as I drifted off to sleep and again as I have been up and around this morning. It is the will of God for us to be thankful for everything. And when you think about it, having a spirit of thanksgiving really shouldn’t be that difficult (I know…the theory is easier than the reality). Why? Because as believers we know that all things work for our good.
I remember as a kid sitting in church pews (seemingly 5 times a week) and hearing the minister preach about “finding God’s will.” I’ve heard it all my life. Quite frankly, I’ve never been able to find God’s will. It has been as elusive as finding Bigfoot. I would bet it is for most people as well. I’ve recently been thinking about God’s will though. We know from scriptures that it is God’s will for us to be thankful in everything. So, as a believer, I must line my will up with His and put on a spirit of Thanksgiving. Whether I feel like it or not.
Funny, when you think about it, if believers lined up their will with God’s will (a daily act, not based on feelings) we should be the most vibrant, thankful people on the face of the earth. The Kingdom of God should be exploding from growth. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. A lot of believers I come across apparently have nothing to be thankful for. They walk around like they’ve got sour persimmons in their mouth. Their attitude is one of resignation…like, I must suffer for God. How droll! With that attitude, it is no wonder that non-believers look at our lives and are turned off. We are so busy suffering, we have not attracted one person to the reason for peace in our lives.
I know in my life I am being challenged to line my will up with God’s will. The Apostle Paul, one of the more prolific writers in the Bible, says we are to daily take up our cross. I view that as remembering to be thankful no matter what my circumstances are. It’s the will of God…for me.
This year at Thanksgiving, I will have so much to be thankful for. The new thing for me this year is learning to make everyday Thanksgiving!
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God…concerning you. – I Thessalonians 5:18