God has truly blessed our family in so many big and small ways. When I stop and think about the amazing ways that he has provided for our family, I can't help but feel joyful.
However, sometimes when I'm having a rough day and my head is full of "don't have" thoughts, it's not so easy to feel joyful or thankful. You know the kind of thoughts I'm talking about. The ones that start with "But we don't have......" or "We can't even afford to....." or "But God why didn't you....".
I can get so focused on what I don't have that I miss everything that God has already given me. I can get upset by a flat tire or leaky radiator and I forget to be thankful for the blessing of having two vehicles. Or what about the hot water heater that keeps giving us grief? When I focus on the hot water heater, I can overlook the blessing of the house that God provided for my family when we didn't have a home.
It can be easy to let the circumstances of life dictate whether we feel thankful or not. Financial issues, car problems, job losses, illnesses, parenting issues and home repairs can cause us to not "feel thankful". But according to the Bible, we're not suppose to give thanks just when we feel like it. I Thessalonians 5:18 commands us to "give thanks in all circumstances". We must choose to give thanks in ALL things.....the good, the bad and the downright ugly things of life.
How is that possible? Because like Ann Voskamp wrote "We will give thanks to God not because of how we feel, but because of who He is." Yes, that's it. We can give thanks no matter the circumstances because God is in ultimate control of those circumstances. He has a purpose and a plan that we don't understand.
We have two choices: thanking God or rejecting God. When we whine and complain about our circumstances we are basically telling God that he doesn't know what he's doing. We're rejecting His authority over our lives and showing Him the door.
Who do we think we are? We have no business trying to tell God how our lives should go. We must surrender to His plan and walk through each valley and mountaintop choosing to give thanks. We cannot let the "things" of this world steal our thanksgiving. "If you let something steal your thanksgiving, you let something steal your joy, and if you let something steal your joy, you let something steal your strength" Ann Voskamp.
If we have no joy and no strength then we are in no position to make a kingdom impact. And isn't that why we're here in the first place? Don't get focused on the things in your life that aren't going the way you want. Instead CHOOSE to give thanks to your King, the Great I AM and choose to see all of the circumstances of life as tools that God is using to complete His work in you.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.