There is a man in our church who is just one of my favorite people. This man has white hair, hearing aids, and the brightest grin in the whole building. He always comes up to Benjamin and me with a joke or word of encouragement, and whenever you ask how he’s doing, he uses words like “fantastic” or “amazing”. He is a real example to us of a person who finds joy in the Lord.
His life isn’t perfect. Both he and his wife have quite a few health struggles, but this man explained to us once that because of what he reads in two verses of the Bible, he knows that there is no reason for him to feel disgruntled.
The first is 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus in you.”
He says that means exactly what it says: in everything! Then he says he reminds himself that Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Hearing this man share that with us just challenged me. I so often get caught up in negatives and wanting things fixed right now that I forget that we should always have that spirit of thanksgiving.
So, for those times we have trouble finding ANYTHING to be thankful for, here are 8 things that you can be thankful for right now, no matter what your situation is, if you have trusted in Jesus:
1. You’re breathing. Take a big breath in, then let it out. You can still do that because of God. Daniel says that He is “the God who holds your breath in His hands” (Daniel 5:23) and He is choosing to allow you to breathe in and out right now.
2. Salvation. Words cannot express how grateful we should be for this every day. The fact that we can know that each of us “does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24) should bring us immense joy in all circumstances! (For more about this, read here!)
3. You can talk to God whenever and wherever you want, and He always hears! The psalmist wrote, “But certainly God has heard me; He has attended the voice of my prayer” (Psalm 66:19). Because of Jesus, we have constant access to the throne of God. He listens to us and hears us and cares about us. What a blessing that is!
4. God has a plan and works all things together for good. This comes directly from Romans 8:28, and it is so encouraging. Anything and everything can be used by God for good. It might not be the good we expect or even a good we fully understand, but we can trust in God’s promise. He is in control.
5. God understands you – your thoughts, your emotions, your likes, your dislikes… It’s so wonderful to be understood completely. Often, other people just don’t fully get us or what we are going through. God does. Psalm 139 says that He designed us, He knows our actions, and He hears our every thought.
6. God will never leave. And He’s impossible to get away from. Hebrews 13:5 says straight out, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” That is a promise from God. We will never, ever be left to figure things out on our own.
7. The Holy Spirit. When we have accepted the redeeming grace of Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit, God Himself, who dwells in us. Crazy thought! The Holy Spirit is called in the Bible “Helper” (John 14:16), “Guide” (John 16:13), “Intercessor” (Romans 8:26), and so much more. I can’t imagine trying to follow God without the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
8. The Bible! We can hold in our hands the completed Word of God. That’s something that a lot of believers in history were not able to say. The Bible shows us who God is, paints a picture of His love and care, guides us in the way we should go, and shows us where we are going wrong. Everything in this post, all of these things we can know we are thankful for, come from the Bible. As Psalm 119 says, it is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
God is so good to us. Sometimes we get blinded by our emotions or our circumstances, but we have been blessed by Him beyond what we ever could have deserved. We should give Him all of our praise and thanks every day!
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.”