“My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord, let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever.”
- Psalm 145:21
This month, in recognition of the National Day of Thanksgiving, we are encouraging you to be thankful even in the midst of trying, difficult times. I realize someone may be reading this and saying within themselves, ‘come on Reverend — how can I thank God for what I’m going through?’ I am simply saying, like the psalmist, to take time and reflect over your life and on God’s goodness and mercy and praise God’s holy name! Maybe you don’t feel like giving God praises and thanks because your life currently seems like it’s upside down, but I am still encouraging you in spite of your circumstances, in spite of your pain, trials and problems, to reflect on the faithfulness of God. I want you to count your blessings and literally name them one by one.
I am not suggesting that telling God “thank you” will lessen the pain of a crisis. As humans, we hurt. I know it’s easy when things are going well to be thankful, but when we are going through a crisis and we are struggling, offering the sacrifice of thankfulness, sometimes does not come so easy. Yet, even with tears streaming down your face, I encourage you to give thanks to God. Having a thankful heart is necessary, but it is also a choice. I am asking that you choose, in the good times and the bad times, to be thankful. I admit, having that type of perspective in difficult and trying times is hard, but it is my prayer that you will see the value of it and make it worth pursuing.
God never puts more on us than we can bear. In the Old Testament, we find no one who went through it like Job. You can say Job had it all, but in the blink of an eye, Job lost just about everything, his livestock, his servants, all of his sons and daughters, his health; and even his wife looked at him despairingly and suggested he curse God and die. But Job did not lose his faith. Job responded by falling to the ground and worshipping God! (Job 1:13-22, 2:1-10.)
While Job was discouraged, Job did not lose his faith. In the end, God rewarded Job for his faithfulness. Like Job, we don’t know why we have to suffer, but God has a purpose in it and God will bless those who endure.
Beloved, I make it a practice, that whatever I “feed,” I “eat.” In other words, I don’t write, teach or preach anything I will not or have not taken a large dose of myself. Oftentimes, my articles end up ministering to me. I can humbly say, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without the trying and difficult times I have had to endure. As I reflect back over my life, I didn’t see what God was doing then, but now I realize how God carried me through and how everything I went through was all in God’s Plan. I admit, the situations made me cry, but they didn’t kill me. The trying times, the rejections and disappointments, instead collectively attributed to my growth in godly wisdom, perseverance and faith. May I encourage you to take a moment, think about the most challenging time in your life that you have experienced and how God got you through it. Whatever you are going through right now, know that God is able is bring you through this too. Even in midst of trying times, may this article always serve as a reminder to you to always give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1.)
May God Bless You and Keep You In His Care.
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