EDITOR'S NOTE: Every day throughout November, we'll bring you one devotional from our archives about Thanksgiving, giving thanks, gratitude, or giving of ourselves. Check back every morning as you thank the Lord for your many blessings!
A Prerequisite for Giving Thanks
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT)
To give thanks, we must realize as Christians that God is in control of all circumstances that surround our lives, both good and bad.
In 2 Corinthians 4:17–18 we are told, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (NLT).
The apostle Paul also wrote, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38 NLT). God loves you, and He is always looking out for your eternal benefit. God is wiser than we are. And if He tells us to not do something, He does so for good reason.
Now, the devil doesn’t want you to believe that. He would whisper in your ear, “God hates you. God wants to ruin your life. All those rules in the Bible are just there to make life miserable. You Christians serve an oppressive God who doesn’t want you to have any fun.”
What a bunch of nonsense. I’ve lived apart from Christ. I’ve had the so-called fun this world has to offer, and it wasn’t fun at all. I’ve also found that a life with Christ is a life of fulfillment and purpose.
We must realize that God loves us and is always looking out for our eternal benefit, even if what we are presently going through is difficult.
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