Finding Reasons to Be Thankful in All Circumstances

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I'm not proud of this... I've had too many times in my life when all I could focus on was the problem. Fear. "What if." It's hard to be thankful, but...

I’m not proud of this…

I’ve had too many times in my life when all I could focus on was the problem. Like the eight years we struggled with secondary infertility, or when Rev was so sick, or when I allowed a problem with a child to consume my thoughts. And if I sat here for a few more minutes I could probably make a list that would fill the page.

Times I let my problems and fear become greater than my trust in God.

And today, I feel like that’s what I’m seeing in our nation.

I'm not proud of this... I've had too many times in my life when all I could focus on was the problem. Fear. "What if." It's hard to be thankful, but...

Tomorrow our nation is going to elect a president.

And honestly, I can hardly read through my social media feed at the moment. I have friends on both sides of the aisle and they are fired up and afraid. It’s interesting to me how frightened so many seem to be at the thought of the other side “winning.”

“What if” seems to be the prevailing attitude.

We’re allowing fear and divisiveness to run rampant and we’re forgetting we have so much to be thankful for in this country.

You and I can be the change. We can start a revolution.

A Gratitude Revolution

We can be thankful for what we have and stop worrying about what we might not.

7 Things to be Thankful for About America and the Election

1. We Live in a Free Country.

All we have to do is look around the world to know what an amazing blessing it is to be an American citizen. So many have sacrificed themselves for our freedom. Thank God and thank those in service.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Thomas Jefferson

2. We are Free to Believe What We Want.

Look around. Notice all the different views, opinions, and beliefs shared on social media. Look at all the different churches, organizations, and groups. Celebrate that freedom, it’s a blessing.

“A free people, free to believe as we wish, free to speak our minds, free to raise our children as we see fit, will make no mistake about it, endure.” ~Nick Rahall

3. We Can Share Our Beliefs.

I hear people complaining about the limiting of the Christian voice and although I understand what they are saying . . . I still write a faith-sharing blog and openly talk about what I believe without fear.

It is possible we should do a better job of self-controlling the ways we communicate what we believe but what a blessing to be able to speak freely without fear.

“When we share our stories, what it does is, it opens up our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us the sense that we are not alone on this journey.” ~Janine Shepherd

4. We Can Openly Practice Our Beliefs.

You and I are free to gather with other people who share our beliefs without fear of retribution from our government and we can live each day with applying those beliefs to everything we do.

“If what you believe doesn’t affect how you live, then it isn’t very important.” ~ Dick Nogleberg

I'm not proud of this... I've had too many times in my life when all I could focus on was the problem. Fear. "What if." It's hard to be thankful, but...

5. We Can Exercise Those Beliefs by Voting.

Put your beliefs into practice tomorrow by voting. Pray. Don’t allow fear to guide you but know what each candidate stands for by reading their platform. Make an informed decision, not an emotional one. Celebrate the fact that you live in a country where you are free to cast your ballot.

“Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” ~Winston Churchill

6. God is on the Throne.

God is sovereign today and He will still be sovereign the day after tomorrow even if the candidate you’re choosing is not on their way to the White House. Set your focus on Him and refuse to join in divisive dialogue.

From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit[a] of God. Revelation 4:5

7. God Will Use the Outcome for His Plans and Purposes.

The outcome of the election may surprise you but it will not surprise God. He knows the beginning from the end and He will use whatever He allows and accomplish His will.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20

Jesus promised we would have problems. Life will not always go the way we want it to go. You and I have to decide whether we trust God to be greater than our circumstances. Whether we believe He is able to use our circumstances and work something good out of them that will bring Him glory.

Have you read through the Old Testament lately?

In 1st and 2nd Kings there were 8 good kings and 11 bad kings. God used King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to accomplish His purposes. (Read the first eight chapters of Daniel.) God used the pagan King Cyrus, of Persia, to accomplish His plans for His people. (Read Isaiah 45)

God used King Herod to call a census to fulfill the promise of the Savior born in Bethlehem. And He used ungodly leaders to drive His people to their knees in prayer and to spread Christianity throughout the world.

I’m not promising the days ahead will be pleasant or easy, and I know we prefer pleasant and easy. I’m promising God will use this to accomplish His kingdom purposes.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t always believed . . . like the years when I failed to see His power at work in and through our problems.

And I was wrong!

God was always at work and wow, am I thankful for His patience and forgiveness.

I promise God’s power will never fail. Even when we can’t see it or don’t understand . . . God is in control.

What you can do!

Vote in faith without fear.

  • Pray for the president-elect to turn to God.
  • Pray for our nation to turn to God.
  • Stop listening to those wringing their hands and refuse to join them.
  • Shine His light – speak more about God and His glory than you do the election.
  • Ask God to show you how He is working in the world.
  • Look for ways to help in your community and support ministries that do the same.

Stop listening to the enemy who wants to incite fear.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. John 10:10–11

Trust God. Build your life on Him. 

Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7

And be thankful – God’s got this.

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

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  1. This was such a blessing! Such truths and reminders that He is in control in a world that seems to be unraveling! Thank you for suc wisdom Deb!

    1. Thanks, Shannon! I found myself feeling really discouraged. Needed this reminder myself. I’m so glad it blessed you!

  2. Just the words we all need to hear, Deb. Yes, God is ultimately in control and will use even the wicked and deceitful to work His will. I am praying that whoever is elected will continue to protect the freedoms that too many of us take for granted.

    1. That is my prayer as well, Martha! Working to keep my eyes focused on God and trust His plan knowing He is able to use anyone to accomplish His purposes. Blessings my friend!

  3. Bring thankful brings joy back when life seems like it’s in upheaval, doesn’t it? I’m beginning to see that being thankful is part of trusting in God.

    1. Gratitude makes so much difference. It changes my focus from what isn’t to what is. God is soooo good! Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer. It was what I needed today! I’m so glad it blessed you too!

  4. Deb, Thank you for the reminder that we’re to be thankful in all circumstances. When I think about thankfulness, I think of Paul who was able to be thankful no matter what his circumstances. It’s so easy to lose sight of what really matters, especially in this election cycle; it’s good to keep in mind that no matter what, God is in control!


    1. I know, Kim. When I read about all the things that happened to Paul and yet he could continue to thank and praise God. I believe it takes an eternal perspective and I’m praying to keep that in mind every day. Blessings!

  5. Yes! God’s got this! Fear doesn’t need to have a place in our lives. This was such an encouragement to me, Deb.

    1. I’m so glad, Dawn! I know I needed it myself. Blessings my friend!!

  6. Nicki Murphy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. I absolutely love the “Gratitude Revolution.” My two older children have talked a lot about the election and they have certainly heard a fair share of negativity and strong opinions regarding who should be elected. As I was reading this over coffee this morning, I couldn’t wait to share it with my family. We read it together after dinner and I pray that the truths of God’s sovereignty and His purposes and Will stand out to them. (God is before all things and in Him all things hold together. Col. 1:17) Thank you for sharing this!!

    1. Nicki, I’m so glad this blessed you! I know I needed it myself. I need to remember we are only here by His grace and He is able to fulfill His plans no matter who is elected. In fact, who gets elected may very well be part of that plan even if we don’t understand. I’m not even turning the new on today. Just keeping my eyes focused on my Father. Blessings to you and your family.

  7. Even on this side of the election, these reasons to be grateful still hold true. Thanks for these reminders, Deb. Continuing to pray for our nation and our leaders.

  8. So much truth in this, Deb. We have so much to be thankful for and no matter what, God is still in control. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.