This past month we have witnessed a devastating hurricane on the east coast, leaving thousands of people without homes and businesses. There are wars and rumors of wars, nations rising against nations, earthquakes, droughts and so many disasters. The nightly news sounds like a diatribe of Matthew 24.
In that chapter, the disciples ask Jesus about the end of the age. When will it come? Jesus responds by giving a list of signs, rather than a date. These signs are the same as many of the news events—natural disasters, offense, wars, etc. Jesus concludes by saying that these signs are the beginning of sorrows. He tells his disciples to stay in the faith and be obedient despite what transpires.
What a timely message. Stay in the faith and remember the goodness of God. Despite the trials and tribulations, we are promised God’s presence and peace. God brings hope to the hopeless. He works things for our good and never leaves us.
So, during this season of thanks, you may be going through a difficult time. Yet, I Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to, Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Here is a suggestion. Go around the dinner table and have each person begin a word of thanks with this statement… “THANKS BE TO GOD FOR...”
Then call out a blessing of God. It can be specific and personal or general like the ones listed below.
THANKS BE TO GOD FOR...
- His righteousness and holiness
- His marvelous works
- His guidance and instructions
- The joy of His presence
- All his many benefits
- Hearing our cries
- His creation and beauty
It is powerful to give thanks out loud and share your thoughts with loved ones. Our spirits are lifted. God is praised and we are reminded that despite trouble, our God is greater and stronger than anything that comes against us.