We are in the midst of the “holiday season,” as the world likes to put it. Of the major holidays here in the United States, Thanksgiving stands out as one that we can be comfortable celebrating, as we relate the significance not just in our physical lives, but also spiritually. Sadly, the ungodly holidays of this world such as Halloween, Christmas and Easter overshadow the day of Thanksgiving when it comes to merchandise sales, decorations, a stronger appeal to children, etc. Even Halloween has been adopted in other countries around the world for the very reasons just listed, but also because Satan is still the ruler of this world. Thanksgiving is not celebrated in every country around the world, but the spiritual aspect of thanking God, especially amongst our brethren, should certainly be applied in our lives.
There is an abundance of trials in the Church of God with many of our brethren, which certainly seems overwhelming at times, and we ask ourselves what is the reason for this? Are we indeed thankful for trials that we go through? The Bible reveals to us with many examples that we are to be thankful for the trials we endure, for it makes us stronger, as we are being tested on how we react. We are blessed, knowing that we can come before God with anything and share our concerns with Him.
Prayer is ALWAYS important. We cannot underestimate the power of it. Colossians 4:2 tells us that we must pray earnestly and be vigilant with prayer. The trials that we go through should increase our prayers even more. We should not underestimate God’s timing, for He has the answer and He will reveal it to us in due time. Worry and doubt may creep in, for it is in our human nature to feel that way. But when that happens, we can quickly reassure ourselves with Scriptures like James 1:6 that we should ask in faith without doubting. And every time we pray, we ought to give thanks to God, NO MATTER WHAT the situation is. Who else knows better than God about the tests that we go through, for He tests us continuously to see how we respond. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
There is so much that we can be thankful for. The fact that God is in our lives when we allow Him to be in our lives is an incredible reassurance that we will be fine, because ALL things are possible through Him (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27).
What does God expect of us? To do our best to conquer our trials. If we stumble and fall, to get right back up. To not give up. To stand up and fight for what is right. We SHOULD have nothing to fear. This is the right attitude that we must be convinced of in our hearts, as we allow God to direct our lives. Do we have that conviction within ourselves?
As we reflect on the meaning of Thanksgiving, in every given situation we are faced with, let us take to heart what is stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in EVERYTHING give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”