By Carol Round – “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever”—Psalm 136:1 (NLT).
My heart ached for the young woman and her son. Giving her a reassuring hug, I noticed her tears. My eyes were watery, too. I didn’t know her whole story, but she had come to our church’s Amazing Grace Ministries for help.
She was being evicted from her rental and needed to find another place to live. I later learned she also had a daughter with debilitating health issues. As I, and others volunteering that day, provided resources for her search, I couldn’t help thinking how blessed I am.
I’m not wealthy in terms of material things, but I do have more than enough—enough that I can give thanks to God who always provides for my needs. I have a house and I don’t fear eviction. My finances are more than enough, allowing me to help others in need and still pay my bills. I have a reliable vehicle that gets me where I want to go. My refrigerator and pantry are full. I have more than enough. Thanks to God.
Give Thanks to God
If I were to continue with my list above, it would fill page after page of those things for which I’m grateful. One thing I do every day is find things and people for which I am thankful—and I give all the glory to the One who made it all possible. In the morning, I praise Him. Before meals, I give thanks. Throughout my day, I tell Him how thankful I am. And I never run out of things for which to express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father.
Along with scriptures and devotionals, I’m currently reading a psalm each morning. I’ve been reading through the psalms at least once a year. Psalm 136 contains 26 verses. In each one, the psalmist finds something for which to be thankful.
Throughout scripture, we are reminded to give thanks. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, the Apostle Paul exhorts His readers to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
In All Circumstances?
Surely Paul was kidding. In all circumstances, we should be thankful? What if we’re battling a chronic illness? Or, what if we’ve been laid off at work? Can we be grateful if our vehicle can no longer get us where we need to go and we can’t afford to repair or replace it? Are we able to express gratitude, even if we’re facing eviction from our home? According to Paul, we can.
As I watch and read about what’s happening in Ukraine, I’m amazed at the resilience and hope of those who’ve had to escape to other countries. Even though most have lost everything they own, they are grateful. Smiles grace their faces. Many acknowledge God’s goodness in the face of their unknown future.
This anonymous quote reminds me of God’s goodness. “The more I look at the times ‘thanks’ is mentioned in God’s Word – the more I notice. . . This giving of thanks has nothing to do with my circumstances and everything to do with my God.” Despite our circumstances, we can still be grateful because God is good and His faithful love endures forever.