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Choosing to Be Thankful... Even When You Don't Feel Like It

blessedthankful

Next weekend in America we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. We are entering a season where we pause and give thanks. A season centered around gratitude and giving. 

But, what if you don’t feel thankful this Thanksgiving? 

What do you do during Thanksgiving if you are in a season of waiting? Waiting for a promise to be fulfilled. Waiting for a prayer to be answered. How can you be grateful in the middle of a delay?

How can you feel grateful when you feel lonely? When you're not spending Thanksgiving surrounded by the people that you love.

Here’s the truth. You don’t have to be grateful FOR all situations, but you can be grateful IN all situations. There is always something to be thankful for. During certain seasons of life, we may not feel thankful. And, that's okay. But, you can choose to be thankful, even though your feelings don't match. 

Your feelings matter... but they are often not the full truth. I encourage you to recognize your feelings this Thanksgiving, then take it a step further and choose to be grateful for something. Anything. Choose to seek the truth. If you feel alone, choose to take a step toward connecting with someone this holiday. If you are in a season of waiting, choose to look back and remember all the things God has done for you in the past. 

Choose gratitude. Intentionally.

Choose to Remember God's Goodness

Ps. 106:7-8, 13 (Message) “After our parents left Egypt, they took your wonders for granted, forgot your great and wonderful love. They were barely beyond the Red Sea when they defied the High God –the very place he saved them! – the place he revealed his amazing power! …but it wasn't long before they forgot the whole thing, wouldn't wait to be told what to do."  

This says, “many times.” It's unbelievable how short their memory was. In Egypt, God does ten plagues and the children of Israel forget it because a couple days later they're at the Red Sea and saying "We're all going to die!" They've forgotten what God's just done. God does a miracle and opens the Red Sea. They walk through to the other side and immediately forget that miracle.  "We're going to die of thirst!" God provides water miraculously. They forget that and complain, "We're going to die -- no food!" They were always forgetting.  

But we should not be too quick to judge them because we do the exact same thing. When a delay occurs in our lives we start acting like God's never done anything for us. 

What have you been forgetting about God, how He's helped you so many times? 

INSTEAD OF FORGETTING YOU REMEMBER GOD'S PROMISES.

There are over 7000 of them in the Bible. Whenever I have a problem, I try to find a promise. When I face a problem, I look for a promise. The promises are always greater than the problems you're facing.  

Ps. 103:2 (NLT)"Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me."  

2 Pet. 3:3-8.  "The Lord is not being slow to carry out His promises but He is being patient with you."  

You ask, Why isn't God fulfilling the promise in my life? God's never in a hurry.  God is never late, but seldom early. He can do things immediately, but He's working on a larger agenda. The delays that come in your life do not destroy God's purpose. They fulfill God's purpose in your life.

What is it you've been waiting on God to do? For Him to turn a problem around? To answer a prayer? To make a way in a place where it seems impossible for there to be a way, financially or physically or any other way? Maybe you've been waiting on God to bring that right person along. Maybe you've been waiting on God to turn a crisis into a solution.

God hasn't forgotten. And a delay is not a denial. “Not yet,” is not the same thing as, “No.”  

I know the holidays can be difficult when you don't feel happy or thankful for what is going on in your life. If this is a hard Thanksgiving for you, I am sorry.

I encourage you to seek the truth and intentionally find something to be thankful for this next week. 

So many things in life are out of your control... but choosing to be thankful isn't.

Gratitude can transform how you see a situation. It can transform how you see your spouse, and actually make you happier in your marriage. Gratitude can even change how you feel. 

What are you thankful for this year?