As the final days of 2020 near, what are we grateful for? In a year that was anything but normal and held so much pain, loss, hurt, and devastation can we, without a bit of hesitation or doubt, give thanks with a grateful heart?
One way to praise God in our times of darkness as easily as we praise him in our times of light is by focusing on his goodness instead of focusing on the bad.
We don’t have to like everything that enters our lives, but we can be grateful for the fact Jesus is with us in the middle of whatever we go through, holding our tears in the palm of his nail-scarred hand.
We don’t need to pretend we’re okay and our losses aren’t painful. God already knows all about it. He wants us to be honest with him about how we feel. He is big enough to handle our laments.
However, in the same way David poured out his heart in laments to God, we also need to end our prayers by acknowledging who God is. He is good. He is faithful. Nothing reaches us he didn’t plan of permit.
In the church where I grew up, one of my mentors had a simple response whenever anyone said, God is good after they experienced some wonderful event or news. Mrs. B would simply reply, “ALL the time.”
To which the person usually muttered something like, “Why yes. Of course, he is.”
Mrs. B wasn’t saying every situation and every circumstance is good. Far from it. She said this because God is immutable and unchangeable. This makes him good all the time. He is good in every situation and every circumstance, not just in those situations we view as favorable.
Job is a great example of a person who believed God is good all the time. He lost pretty much everything. Nevertheless, he declared, Still, I will praise the LORD. My Redeemer and my God. Job turned his laments and pain into praise and worship.
Even during those times when our circumstances are anything but good, we can be grateful because God’s goodness doesn’t change. God is good ALL the time.
Perhaps, like me, you remember the song which said, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
Maybe that is the answer to the question of how to give thanks with a grateful heart in all things, at all times, good and bad, happy and sad.
What helps you be grateful in all things? Do you count your blessings while the waves crash around you?
I wish you well.