Be Thankful -- Trusting God in Hard Times

When Times are Hard Don't Complain but be Thankful

Thankfulness Word Art
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The more thankful one is, the more there is to be thankful for. A person cannot be complaining and thankful at the same time, nor can they worry about money or health or anything while being thankful. To dwell on political or economic woes, international crises, personal problems, or even someone else's problems, will invite irritability, confusion, mistrust, disgust, depression, a sense of helplessness, hopelessness and futility.

Better to stop and take into consideration what and who is truly valuable in one's life. There is always something to be thankful for. “Better a handful with quietness than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6)

Life is not all about accumulation of things. He who dies with the most money or the most toys, still dies. No one can take their friends or their collections with them to the grave. Job, in Job 1:21 said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”)

A very well-grounded perspective. Solomon repeated the truth in Ecclesiastes 5:15. “As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand. Jesus asked the rhetorical question, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25) And Jesus taught clearly in Luke 12:15 to “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

It's settled then. Life is more than food and clothes and houses and cars and stuff. Life for the Christian is about loving God and loving others, and introducing people to the Lord Jesus Christ. People are to be loved and things are to be used, and never the opposite. All things considered, life is precious and fleeting and fragile, and it behooves believers to take time often and just be thankful. Make a list of things to be thankful for if necessary, but part of obeying God's Word is taking time for thanksgiving.

Many verses in the Bible teach God's people to be thankful, regardless of circumstances. No matter how unpleasant a situation becomes, it is good to remember that it could always be worse.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Memorizing verses such as those preceding can be a tremendous help when tempted to be unthankful. Remembering that unthankfulness leads to hardness of heart, which leads to bitterness and unbelief, may serve as a deterrent to being unthankful. Hebrews 13:5 presents a beautiful and balanced way of thinking, and serves as a reminder of what and Who is truly important. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'”

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Written by: Pete Miller