“Give thanks in all circumstances…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president declared the Thanksgiving holiday. Friend, what was in his mind and what did he want to tell each of us?
Scripture says in First Thessalonians, “In everything give thanks.” Notice it doesn’t say to give thanks “for” everything, it says “in” everything. In other words, we should have the attitude that says, “God, no matter what’s happening, I’m going to choose to be grateful. I’m not going to focus on what’s wrong. I’m going to find something positive in my life. I may be sick, but Father, I just want to thank You today for giving me a great family. I may be struggling in my marriage, but God, thank You for giving me a good job. I may not have gotten the position I wanted, but God, I want to thank You that I was able to see another sunrise, that I could hear the birds singing this morning, that I could smell the flowers.”
We all face difficult situations in life. No one on earth is exempt from trials. But we have to discipline ourselves so that we don’t stay focused on the negative. That’s where the mind naturally wants to go. I was talking to a young lady not long ago who was down and discouraged. She’d gone through a troubling relationship. She said, “Thế, nothing’s going right in my life.” She explained how the last two years, she’d been so depressed. And, I told her what I’m telling you today. You’ve got to change your focus. I said, “Look at you. You’re beautiful. You’ve got a great personality. You’ve got family that loves you. You’re healthy, and yet, you’re allowing this one circumstance, this one person to steal your joy week after week, month after month.” The fact is that there are some things in life we cannot change. We can’t change people. We can’t make them do what’s right. And if you’re constantly trying to get people to act the way you want them to, you are only going to frustrate yourself. You’ve got to turn the situation over to God and trust Him to do His part.
Remember, thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday, it’s a lifestyle. Make it a habit to thank God in all things. Exalt Him above your circumstances. Let your attitude of gratitude be evidence of your faith in Him!
Lanthy and I love you so much and pray that you have a blessed and prosperous weekend celebrating the blessings God so freely gives!