Ever met someone who, no matter how bad things appeared to be—even in their own life—they always are happy? They always wear a smile. I’ve known people like that and, to be honest, I strive to be that same way myself. Sometimes it’s not easy, considering the many challenges we all face from one day to the next. But the one thing I’ve learned is that when we truly believe and understand just how much God loves us, we’ll also understand why, no matter what’s going on around us, we can be happy and thankful.
The words “thank you” are two very simple, yet profound words that, when spoken in sincerity, convey humble appreciation for someone’s kindness or generosity. Sadly, many find it hard to express their thankfulness when kindness is shown to them. Maybe it’s because they feel that something is owed them. Or perhaps it’s because they just don’t know how to be thankful. The truth is, when we sincerely look at all God has done for us, it’s hard not to be thankful.
Did you make it through this week thinking of positive things? Or did the cares of this world—problems with family, money, the job—cause you to become distracted and take your mind off God and His goodness? It happens to us all at one time or another. The important thing is that we don’t allow life’s problems to get us so distracted that we end up complaining and not trusting God. If we put our faith and trust in the world’s system, that can easily happen. But as believers, that’s not where our faith and trust should be.
That may sound like an odd subject for a devotion. But the more I think about God and His goodness, the more I understand how important it is that we always stay in a thankful mode—that we are constantly thanking God for His goodness and mercy toward us. That’s what Apostle Paul meant when he encouraged the church at Philippi by saying, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8, New Living Translation).
It’s November—the month of thanksgiving! Decide right now to take time and learn to be thankful in everything. You may be wondering how I can make such a suggestion when so many bad things are happening in the world today. My answer is simple: Being thankful is how God desires that we all live, regardless of negative circumstances. First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
In a world so filled with misfortune, confusion, uncertainty and hopelessness, like most people, you’re looking for a sign—a ray of hope that will assure you that eventually everything is going to be all right. You’re hoping for something that will take your mind off the negative, fill you with joy and peace, and help you to forget about all the darkness and emptiness that exist in the world. Here’s some good news: There is hope, and it comes through Jesus Christ—the only One who has the power to turn things around. Only He can turn your darkness into light, your despair into hope, your brokenness into wholeness. He is the only One who can change all the negatives in the world into positives.