By: Oris M.
Jesus stood before the tomb of Lazarus and offered a prayer of thanksgiving. The man had been dead for four days, so Mary and Martha, his sisters, must have been wondering why Jesus was thanking God while they were grieving. Yet the reason wasn't that Jesus didn't share in their grief; it was because Jesus wanted to show that God is present even in the most painful times.
The same thing happened when there were just five loaves of bread and two fish available, while a multitude looked longingly at Jesus for provisions that day. It was hopeless to the disciples that there was just no way they could feed five thousand hungry people, so they suggested to Jesus that he send them away. Instead of sending them away, Jesus took what was available and gave thanks. It was not because he was in denial of the situation but to remind us that God is near even when circumstance seems hopeless.
Where's the joy I started the year with? The confidence, hope, and assurance? If you've asked yourself this question at some point this year, know that you're not alone. I have too and countless others. It's like our plates have been piled full with stuff we didn't ask for, and because we weren't prepared for the overload, we've sought different ways to cope. There's something about the trips of life that can make even the most committed Christian falter. Trials have a way of making us forget who we are and whose we are, yet the Bible tells us to be 'thankful in all circumstances' - All Circumstances - because as you may have noticed, it's easier to say, "Thank you, Jesus !" when everything is going well.
"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
A grateful heart magnifies God instead of the problem. It protects us from being hardened by despair, discouragement, hopelessness, or even turning away from Jesus. Thanksgiving helps to bring to light the things God has done for us in the past, thus providing hope about the future.
When we choose to look up, to raise our hands in worship, we are saying to that situation: "This is tough, but I know that my heavenly father is on my side, He is for me, and I'm coming out on the other side better and not bitter."
As Christmas draws near and 2020 winds to a close, I'd like to share this scripture:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" (which means "God with us") Matthew 1:23 (NIV)
God sent His son Jesus to the earth to demonstrate His love for humanity and tell us that He is with us. No day or year can come into existence without His knowledge, and because He is aware, we know that He will take care of us. He is ever-present, and that is why we can count our blessings with grateful hearts.
Oris Morolani is an author, Christian blogger, and founder of Every Woman's Heart; a ministry that uses insights and inspiration from the Bible to help women to flourish in their different roles, make the best of womanhood, and become all God wants them to be, You follow her on Instagram and Facebook @everywomansheart.