Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Psalm 105 starts with thanksgiving. Following this declaration of God’s goodness, the psalmist recounts the ups and downs in the history of the children of Israel. From Abraham to Joseph to Moses, God shows Himself faithful.
1 Thessalonians says, “In everything give thanks.” The good, the bad, the ugly—God is still God. And He is still good, keeping His promises in all things.
This week’s #FridayFive is a look at thanksgiving in all circumstances. No matter where you find yourself this year, hopefully, you will be able to join the thanksgiving song.
Give Thanks in Joy
Luke 17:11-19 tells of the nine lepers Jesus heals. Only one of the nine lepers returns to thank Jesus. I am more like those nine lepers than I care to admit. How quickly I turn from God, hands still open from receiving what He has given me. I run from the source of blessing without pausing to thank God for the joy He gives. Today is a day to turn my eyes toward God, the Giver of each good gift.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Give Thanks in Suffering
I have a busy mom-life. I face piles of laundry, the work-home imbalance, and a sassy-mouthed tweenager. Life can seem difficult, but I’m really not suffering. I am reading Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts (releasing January 2016). It is about Sarah Frankl who died at a young age after suffering from chronic illness. Reading her story gives me a glimpse at what real suffering looks like. In the midst of true suffering, Sarah chose to be thankful.
Joy is the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it—not despite what’s happening in my life, but because of it. (Sarah Frankl, Choose Joy)
Peter said it like this: “Rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13, ESV).
Give Thanks in Sorrow
Holidays are hard during or after a season of loss. In Psalm 31, David recounts his struggles. He says, “my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and body also” (Ps 31:9). In the pit of grief, David turns his grief-stricken eyes to God.
But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!
Psalm 31:14, 19
In those moments of sorrow, returning to the places where God was faithful can remind us that He is right there—even when we don’t feel Him. Save up comfort from the good times to carry you in the bad.
Give Thanks in Plenty
As we head into a season of “give me,” it is essential to pause and see our plenty. My life is full. My heart is full. My house is full. My pantry is full. My driveway if full. My eternity is full.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
You prepare a table before me.
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Selections from Psalm 23
Give Thanks in Wandering
There are wanderings we bring on ourselves. Like the children of Israel, we sin or lose faith. This wandering is for our discipline or correction. Sometimes we wander because God hides the path. In those times, we keep our eyes on Him for direction. This wandering is for God’s glory in our lives. In both cases, our response should be the same: seek God. I am thankful for the wandering; it causes me to seek God all the more. Every time, He draws me back in.
For a long time, Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. (2 Chron 15:3-4, ESV)
#FridayFive Link Up
Let’s join in a Thanksgiving chorus together! Share something you are thankful for in the comments. If you wrote something on your blog about giving thanks, share a link using the button below. No “five” necessary for this one!
Be sure to join us during the month of December for Christmas link ups. We will start with Five Christmas Traditions next week.
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