by Barbara Latta
The world is a scary place.
I don’t know how people who don’t know the Lord cope with life because chaos surrounds us everywhere we go. Politics, weather, crime, lack of provision, and war touch us in some way every day. We may not experience all of these events at the same time, but we hear the news that goes on in different parts of our world. Anxiety can fill our hearts just by anticipation of a bad circumstance coming our way.
But God doesn’t fall off His throne or wring His hands in despair due to the earth’s condition. He isn’t the cause of all the mischief, but He is the solution.
His Word gives us weapons to resist evil and change our lives if we will load up and fight the right enemy.
We should be grateful every day, but in November we focus on gratitude more than at other times due to our Thanksgiving observation in the United States.
How can we be grateful no matter what happens?
1. Rejoice in God. We are to give thanks in all things not for them. He isn't telling us to be thankful for a bad situation, but to thank God that He can turn tragic events into something good for those who love Him and are called by Him (Romans 8:28).
Jesus said in John 10:10 that the thief is the one who steals, kills, and destroys, but Jesus came to give abundant life. So even when we mess up, or we are attacked with difficult circumstances, if we will trust God, our future is redeemed. God always gives us hope. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)
2. Refuse to fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. When we fear, our eyes are on the turmoil around us and not on the Father Who saves us. If fear controls us, we don’t remember to be thankful. God’s instructions to His people not to be afraid appear in the Bible hundreds of times.
He knew we would be influenced by the world and events around us and our natural senses would default to looking at tragic or impossible situations. His repetition of "do not fear" is because we need to hear it so much. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6 NKJV).
3. Remember past blessings and answers to prayer. We can find ourselves forgetting about what God has done for us in the past. If we only think on the present problems we face, our minds only want a solution. But when we look to what the Father has already done for us, we can be strengthened in faith to know He will come through again.
His Word doesn’t go back to Him without accomplishing His purpose. One way to remember His blessings is through journaling. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. (Psalm 103:2)
God’s Word is more powerful than the strongest army, the meanest villain, and the unseen threats that plague our world. We know His promises are true. Nothing can separate us from His love.
Knowing that we have been given Christ's identity reminds us of who we are. We don't have to live in fear in this life. We can offer thanksgiving to our Savior no matter what we face because He is always the answer.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
What helps you remember to be grateful? Join the conversation and also check out the free download below.
This month’s free download, “Scriptures of Gratitude”