“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)
That is a tall order, isn’t it? In everything give thanks! God tells us to give thanks in everything, He carries it a step further and says that it is His will for us to do so. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I began to think about this year and all the hardships families have faced. Literally every person in our country has been affected in some way due to COVID-19. Many have experienced loss of income, and some have had to watch loved ones suffer with sickness. Thousands have died. It has been a horrific time not just for our country but for people all over the world.
I began to think about Thanksgiving 2020 and wonder how many families will pause this holiday and truly be thankful to God?
Searching God’s Word, I cannot help but think of Job. The Book of Job provides insight into God and why it is proper to give thanks no matter what. Job’s story is challenging to say the least. He was a wholesome and righteous man and had great wealth. He did everything he could to be good and avoid evil. Yet God allowed Satan to test Job in a way that would break most. Job endured the great loss of everything he owned being taken from him, including the death of his children.
His wife asked him, “Why don’t you just curse God and die?” But while enduring such tremendous loss, Job never lost his faith in and love for God. He never rejected God, the source of his life. In the end, Job gave thanks to God despite all the calamity.
It is when we still retain the strength and faith to give thanks to God during loss that it unlocks chains that open doors to tremendous blessings. After Job praised God, all that was lost was restored twofold. This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to do as Job did. The world around us may be falling apart. You may have endured great loss, but let’s remain faithful to God who loves us and who has saved us and give thanks!
Father, we do not understand what is happening in our world today. But you never said we would understand. You do however ask us to trust you no matter our circumstances. That is what we are doing, and we do give thanks to you. Thank you for loving us, guiding us, and for showing us the way. Give us the strength to endure. May we draw closer to you and feel your love and power like never before. Your Word tells us you will never leave or forsake us. Thank you for this promise. Amen.
In Psalm 118 we find the words, “Thank God for He is good, for His kindness endures forever.” No matter what, God is good and worthy of receiving our thanks. We should thank Him for our redemption from sin through His son, His provision for our needs, and that He is sovereign for all the earth.
This Thanksgiving week, may we be reminded of God’s love for us. All hope is not lost. His mercies and love endure forever, and we have so much for which to be thankful.
May we all give thanks.
Brad Shotts is a member of the Rotary Club of Waxahachie and attends Oaks Fellowship Church in Red Oak, where he serves on the ministry team. He loves serving his community.