11-19-18 I Am Thankful 1Thess 5:18

Hi Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! One of the things that makes giving thanks to our Lord so amazing is the fact that life rarely runs smoothly, yet we can choose to be joyful as we give Him thanks. How can we do that? Hear the Word of God:

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thess 5:18 NIV

I am thankful. It is easy to be grateful when everything is going our way. When the sun is shining, traffic is light and things seem to fall into place, joy and gratitude should automatically spill from our hearts. They should…sadly, many times we even forget to thank God in those “good” days. I pray we each decide to make it our habit at the end of the day, at least, to stop a moment and review our day. As we do that, we can then offer up thanksgiving to our amazing God for everything that went smoothly in our day if we “forgot” to do so during the day. This will expand our hearts ability to recognize the good and be grateful for it, giving God His due credit for getting us through it all. I call this taking inventory of your day. Even on days I might be tempted to call “bad,” I am always surprised at how many things actually went well. I pray we will each seek to increase our gratitude.

I am thankful. As I look back on the life of my Baby Girl, as difficult as it was at times, all I have is gratitude. I am thankful God allowed me to be her mother. I am thankful God surrounded us with all we needed to provide for her. I am thankful God held my hand each and every step, giving me insight, peace, strength, motivation, and so on and so on. I am most thankful for the relationship God nurtured during those years, and how He continues to draw me to His side and deepen my love for Him and others. Gratitude. A lack of it is what led to The Downfall, so an increase of it will definitely lead to the Abundant Life we were always meant to live. This week, rethink a challenging situation in your life and look, on purpose, for the ways God provided and helped you get through it. Then that “hardship” won’t seem as hard. And we can learn how to be thankful in all circumstances. Note the verse does NOT say be thankful FOR all circumstances, but rather, IN all circumstances because God is with you and will never allow the situations to destroy you. God will, on the other hand, use them to grow you and that is a very good thing indeed. The more we grow, the less circumstances control us and the freer we are to simply be thankful. I pray we will each seek to increase our gratitude.

I am thankful. I trust God. I have been through enough in life that I can plainly and clearly see that, whatever I am going through in each day, God has either brought it or allowed it for my good. No, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel any pain from difficult situations, but it does mean that it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it used to. While God does not seek to hurt us, He surely wants us to grow to a point where anything the enemy means to steal, kill and destroy us with, doesn’t. God does not want the evils of this world to consume us. He wants us to be free to say, “No” to sin and all its destruction. He wants us to focus on Him and His Love for us instead. As I mentioned above, we humans tend to forget to thank Him in good days, so these days we are tempted to label as bad, remind us to be more grateful for the good. And as I also mentioned above, if you analyze each day, even those that might first look bad, are filled with goodness. In this way God helps us pay more attention to good instead of evil. He helps us lift our perspective and see things the way He sees them. He helps us think like Him, use our emotions like Him and align our will to His Will. God uses ALL circumstances- the good, the bad and the ugly- to transform us into His Image. Learning to be more and more grateful is a key to becoming more and more like God. I pray we will each seek to increase our gratitude.

I am thankful. Growing in this Abundant Life with God by my side is the root of my gratitude. The more I can see a point and purpose to all circumstances in my life, the more I trust God with all the circumstances in my life. I can hold on to peace when I am not sure what decision to make in a particular area of my life. I can stand in the joy of the Lord when situations seem to not go “my way.” I can live in this sense of righteousness because I know that God loves me. Being thankful IN all circumstances because I know, whatever I’m going through good or bad, is God’s Will for me in Christ Jesus, gives me the precious freedom to simply love Him and love my neighbors as I love myself. You cannot place a price on this kind of Freedom…although God did, the Blood of His One and Only Begotten Son. Jesus died so you could be free. Free from sin and it’s deadly effects, here and then in Heaven forevermore. Will you receive this Truth today and live life to the next level? God wants it for you, you know? Let go of any past hurts. Let God show you why you can be thankful IN those circumstances. And be free…

May the God of Love and all that is good bless you and your family this day and every day after that. Happy Thanksgiving!

Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think!

<>< Peace, Diane