In the US, Thanksgiving is generally a day of food, football, and family. We celebrate God’s abundant provision for our lives with a feast. We rest with friends and family. And we take turns telling what we have to be thankful for.
But the Thanksgiving season can come with some challenges as well. Maybe you’ve had a tough year and are finding it hard to be thankful. Maybe you’ve lost a job and life isn’t feeling so abundant right now. Maybe you’ve said goodbye to a loved one this year and today you are trying to celebrate your first holiday without them.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks in all circumstances. Not easy marching orders when life is difficult. But that is precisely when we most need to choose to rejoice, choose to pray, choose to give thanks. The Father doesn’t command us to do things that are not within our ability to choose. If He tells us to rejoice in all circumstances, it is because He knows that we can. And there are no circumstances in our lives that are beyond His understanding (Hebrews 4:15).
My challenge to you this Thanksgiving is to choose to rejoice, pray, and give thanks, regardless of your circumstances. And to maintain that attitude beyond the holiday. Ask yourself next Thursday, after you’ve returned to work and the celebration is behind you: Can I still give thanks today?