For those feeling weary, beat up, and weakened from the past year of pandemic shut downs, stay-at-home orders, losses, and more, celebrating Thanksgiving this year may have them wondering how they’re even supposed to give thanks.
Yet as Christians, we’re called to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Mistakenly many people may believe thankfulness comes out of a grateful heart for all the good things that happen to us all year long. But the Pilgrims sat down together at the table after a year of much hardship, struggle, grief, and disappointment.
In "The Pilgrims" a film produced by historian Jerry Newcombe, the winter leading up to the 1621 thanksgiving celebration was harsh and cold, marked by illness and starvation, with only a few Pilgrims even surviving the devastating “starving times” and sickness to offer thanks.
As history records, the Pilgrims' 3-day feast with the Indians didn't rise from having a trouble-free year, but rather from their devotion and faith in God, sustained through hardship.
So why give thanks during difficult times? Does gratefulness even matter or make a difference during challenging days, weeks, months, and years? If so, what present and lasting results can it produce in our lives?'
Colossians 3:17 urges, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
Below are 10 reasons to give thanks during difficult times.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Simon Lehmann