Thursday, July 8

why be thankful?

last night, in an expression of tough love, i was challenged with being a thankful person. there have been seasons in my life where i have been more thankful than others. however, when you get right down to it, thankfulness is not part of my nature.

thinking about this made it clear that i struggle with being thankful because i am constantly focusing on my circumstances. i am always looking around - to the left, to the right, to the past. there will always be something i'm not happy about, something i want to change or improve. there will always be trials and struggles. there will always be reason for despair. so how can i be thankful?

give thanks with a grateful heart
give thanks to the Holy One
give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son

i grew up going to church on sundays and sometimes even on wednesdays and fridays. the church my family attended was big on worship and i know at least a half a gajillion songs because of it. i sang this song countless times back then. sometimes when i sang, i was thankful. other times, it was just another song to get through on a sunday morning.

as i thought more about last night's conversation this morning, this song came back into my mind. it was in remembering the words that i found hope. my thankfulness won't and shouldn't stem from my circumstances; in fact it shouldn't stem from me and my life at all. i can give thanks in all circumstances because of God and what He did for me in His love for me, allowing His Son to pay a debt i never could and freely give me His salvation.

if i expect to be a thankful person because of what is going on around me, i have set myself up for failure. it's not in the temporary things. when my focus is the cross, i will never be without hope and a reason to give thanks.

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