Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When Being Thankful Is Hard

As thanksgiving approaches, people all over are saying what they are thankful for. That is a good thing. 

But what if you are in a place that is really hard to be thankful for?  Yes, I know the verse, give thanks in ALL things. But sometimes we just can't see clearly enough to be thankful because “our reality” is blocking the view. 

If you could see my life right now, you would see an overabundance of blessings the Lord has given me: my house, my family, my friends, etc.  But it wasn't too long ago that I struggled with seeing what to be thankful for. 

We take for granted the "normal", "regular" things in life because God is so faithful to provide them. But I am not talking about forgetting to be thankful about the air I breathe but rather when you are so lost in your circumstances you "forget" what to be thankful for and it seems every day you lose one more thing that reminds you to be thankful, until you wake up one day with an ungrateful heart and you wonder how you got there. I'm not sure anyone during times like that can say what started the downward spiral but they could be able to say they can't see what to be thankful for. 

Of course, well-meaning people will tell you that you have lots to be thankful for and start listing them for you. I don't think people know what to say when someone has "lots" of things to be thankful for but just can't see it anymore because something in their life started the thoughts of " I can't see..." because they feel empty, sad, or even frustrated.

Some people might read this and say, I have no idea how anyone could get that way. I'm glad for that. But there are some people that seem to have so much and still lack the ability to see it.  I struggled with this for a long time and was told I just needed to be thankful and that I was just bitter. Maybe I was.  Maybe I wasn't. But having someone tell me my "problems" would go away if I just thought thankful things really didn't seem to help me as it just made me feel like there was one more thing I wasn’t doing right and what was the point???  If I can’t even be thankful for the good things I have I must be a horrible waste to God. It is a HARD process to live life day to day existing and getting by doing what needs to get done all the while becoming an empty shell of who you were or wanted to be. 

For me, it took letting go of what I wanted and accepting what I had before I could see anything as good. My situation hadn't changed but God worked on my heart. This was NOT a quick process and I don't exactly know when it changed. 

So what do we do when we feel like this? Talk to God and wait!

Only God knows where we need to get to in order to surrender something to Him.  And often times we just won’t move from our “position” and unfortunately God won’t work there.

I wish I could say I talked to God and He made it all better right away, but for me it took a long time for me to START to appreciate what I have. 

It seems that I finally started getting better when I let go of things I didn't have and held the things I didn't want. Yes, I wrote that the correct way.  

So, good for me, right? It still hasn’t changed YOU!

Maybe all you heard was blah, blah, blah and I got better.  And all you thought was yep, got it, you are good at this and have a great relationship with God…that’s why it worked.  I had mixed feelings when I read different blogs that say, here is the answer, do these steps.  I really felt discouraged sometimes more than encouraged.

So, what can you do?

Realize that God is still loving and kind even when you are being unthankful. 

What??? Can that be right???

Luke 6:35b for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Your circumstances, whether created by your doing, lack of doing, other people’s doing, God’s working, or whatever it is, are not going to change because of my words on a page.  But maybe if you just try to think this one thing: God STILL loves me and does care, then, you will start the process of not being stuck.  Your situation, your thoughts, your habits, and even evil spirits will tell you it will never be better, but that’s not true. 

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

1John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Jesus has overcome already.  As a believer we reap unbelievable benefits!!  Sometime, our world just beats us down we don’t see anything good.  And as time goes on, we only see things as worse.  I have been guilty of that and really I just keep focusing and refocusing on Him.

So, what can someone do who isn’t feeling very thankful?  Thank God for Him being who he is.  If you have to get down to basics, thank Him for: the fact He is faithful to make the sun rise every morning and set every night, the seasons, the air, your sight, your health, that you are full, or that you are warm enough…

…but maybe just thank God for loving you even when you aren’t so loveable, and realize that He is SO incredible to care about YOU that much.

1 Chronicles 16:34
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

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