I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. Psalms 7:17
How easy do you find it to be thankful? If I asked you what you were thankful for would you find it easy or difficult to give me a list? What kind of things would be on your list?
The standard list goes something along this line. I am thankful for my family, health, church family, God’s provision, grace, forgiveness, mercy, love, the cross of Christ, friends, and so on. Most of us would readily agree that there is much to be thankful for.
What if this wasn’t your list. What if you couldn’t come up with anything? What if your husband just lost his job, you can’t pay the mortgage and might lose the house? Could you still give thanks?
What if you were in a job that you didn’t understand why God had you there and you weren’t happy? Could you have joy?
What if you were in pain, extreme pain? Would you give thanks?
We find it somewhat easy to give thanks when things are going well, but when we are suffering loss, pain or heartache we often can not see beyond our circumstances to the hope that lies within the power of the Spirit.
Having an attitude of giving thanks regardless of our circumstances has everything to do with God, not me. On my own I would never be able to give thanks in the midst of pain and suffering. In fact, if I am honest with you and myself I find it almost impossible to be thankful in the midst of affliction. I don't like to be uncomfortable.
Be assured that affliction will come (1 Thess 3:3-4) and when it does we are to be thankful. For it's in our suffering that we become more like Christ. It's in the pain of this life that we gain a greater knowledge of the suffering Christ endured on our behalf.
Still it's not always easy to have an attitude of giving thanks in all things.
The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. Isaiah51:3
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thess 5:16-18