1. Be thankful for your faith.
Quite often we forget about our faith. In the midst of facing the many temporary struggles of life, we fail to realize the power of faith. Faith sees us through the difficulties.
We do not muster faith on our own. Faith is a gift given to us by God. As Christians, our faith comes from the gift given us by Jesus Christ.
In the end, when all is said and done, our faith is what we will grasp firmly. Be thankful this year for your faith.
2. Be thankful for love.
The Apostle Paul writes, “and now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NRSV).
As you give thanks this year, give thanks for the love that is in your life. Give thanks for the love of your family and friends. Give thanks for the love of your church. Be thankful for God’s love for you as shown in Jesus Christ.
While we are thankful for materialistic things, jobs, and even the food we eat at Thanksgiving, all of those things are temporary. Yes, they make a big difference in our lives. They are important. But love is the greatest. Love is eternal. Primarily, God’s love is the most important.
3. Be thankful for joy.
As a retired military person, I have endured a lot of suffering. I have been in more than my share of difficulty. While those hardships are forever branded in my mind, the joy I experienced with those who endured the challenges with me is what I remember most.
Yes, believe it or not, joy can be found laying in mud knowing you have two more days of rain before it is over. You can find laughter in combat. It has been said that the shared suffering is actually what bonds military personnel so closely to one another.
Jesus once told his disciples that he was giving them his joy. He said this to his disciples right before he was to be crucified and he knew that hour was coming. Seems strange to think he called that joy.
2020 has been hard. There has been a lot of suffering. Don’t let that suffering rob you of the joy that you have shared with others. Take time to see the joy you have experienced, even if that joy was in the midst of hardship.
I leave you with a word from the Apostle Paul to the church of Phillipi:
“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (4:8, NRSV).