The best time to give thanks to God may be in the tough times. Did you know that the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving was founded in the midst of war? In 1863, at the height of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln made a decree that America would celebrate “a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father.”
Sadly, many people come into Thanksgiving with mixed emotions. In our family, some of the saddest things happened right at Thanksgiving time. This may be your first Thanksgiving without a certain loved one. Or the holiday may serve as a reminder of some other hurt in your life. Your circumstances may tell you that you don’t have anything to be thankful for. But while God doesn’t tell us to be thankful for all situations, He does tell us to be thankful in all situations: In everything give thanks (I Thessalonians 5:18).
Psalm 34:1 says: I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. The pressures of life can be overwhelming sometimes, but we have a choice to be thankful or not. Richard and I have made a pact that when things start to overwhelm us, we will start giving thanks to the Lord…not for all situations, but in all situations. That gets us focused more on the solution than on the problem. That one decision has changed our lives, and I believe it can change yours too. When you give thanks to God in the midst of your trials, you can expect to see things start to change for the better.