All of us have so many things for which we can be thankful. The Lord provides us with our daily needs which often involves things that we just take for granted, like health, safety, daily food, sunshine, warm homes and beds, loving families and a host of other good things. We also can thank the Lord for church, His Word, and above all that we know Jesus as our personal Savior and the spiritual riches which come from knowing Him in a personal relationship.
Yet perhaps for many of you the holidays can be a discouraging time, if you or your family are going through difficult circumstances. It may be difficult to find things for which to be thankful in such a scenario. Yet a thankful heart opens up blessings from heaven and foretastes of heaven that cannot be attained in any other way. A thankful heart further revives hope and allows us to communicate on a more intimate level with the Lord. A thankful heart does not deny the reality of life's challenges, and life certainly presents a host of problems and heartaches. A thankful heart does, however, recognize the Lord's presence and joy in the midst of those problems.
So perhaps the best place to start is to thank the Lord each day for His presence and peace. Also as you go through the day look for even the Lord's tiny treasures which He has placed on your path. Look with spiritual eyes for His wonders in your life. Some years back I remember being challenged to write down each day at least three things for which I was thankful that day. That helped me immensely in persevering during a very difficult time in my life.
It is said that a thankful heart takes the sting out of trials and adversity, Life often facilitates many challenges and trials. Yet we are commanded in the Bible to give thanks in everything. We may not always FEEL like giving thanks, but when we offer a SACRIFICE of thanks in spite of our feelings, God gives us joy in spite of our circumstances.
That does not mean we always feel happy. Happiness and joy are not the same thing, but joy in the Lord and grief can coexist. It may seem nonsensical to thank God in and for difficult circumstances. Yet in the measure that we do so we will be blessed, even though the adversities may remain. Thank the Lord for His blessings even while going through trials.