It is the time of year when everyone talks about being thankful. It is the month we celebrate a holiday entitled Thanksgiving. Christians talk about always giving thanks. We are told to “count our blessings”. There are many people who really are not in the mood to give thanks. And there are others who are thankful even in the midst of very difficult times. So why is it so hard to be thankful? What is the secret to recognizing our blessings? Why are Christians so intent on living lives full of thanksgiving?

Here are some ideas to reflect on concerning Christians and thankfulness.

1. Short term pain sometimes makes us forget the larger picture. The loss of a job or a relationship, the death of a loved one, natural disasters; these can seem overwhelming, and the pain makes it hard to see anything to be thankful for. But Christians see the big picture. The pain of living in this fallen world is not permanent. It will not last. Our hope is rooted in the knowledge that this world is not our home.

2. It is hard to be thankful when you focus on what you do not have instead of what you do have. This is especially true when what we want is given priority over what we need. Most people will never have everything they want. Christians strive to be thankful for the daily needs that God provides. Jesus taught his followers to ask for daily bread. God will give us what we need. For that, we are thankful.

3. Sometimes worry overwhelms gratitude. What will the future hold? Will my children be alright? Will I get sick? What about my job and my retirement? Christians focus on today. We believe God does hold our future. We strive to serve him today.

4. It is hard to be thankful when you believe you earned — or deserve — everything you have. Christians know that our greatest blessing is that we will live with God forever. That is something we do not deserve and could not earn. That is the gift of God through his son Jesus who died for our sins.

So happy Thanksgiving every day — both now and forever. I can help you know the thankfulness that comes from knowing Jesus. Write to me at or visit our website.

Thank you God.
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