In a world that seems intent on destroying itself, what is there to be thankful for today? The amount of evil and violence seems to grow at an exponential rate. The Word of God is no longer seen as the authority by which we govern and live our lives. Innocent life is viewed as something arbitrary and disposable. Where can we find joy? For what can we be genuinely thankful? The answer is the same as it has always been: Jesus.
No matter what you’ve done, Jesus is waiting to wrap His arms around you. Regardless of how crazy the world seems, Jesus is in control. And no matter how far you think you’ve wandered away from Him, Jesus remains right beside you. Though everything around us may crash and burn, Jesus remains the same as He has always been (Hebrews 13:8). Are you still thankful for that truth?
I’m still thankful Jesus puts up with my failings and humanness. I’m still thankful He walks with me through my daily struggle to live as His disciple. Times are different today than they were ten, twenty, and thirty years ago. As I survey the over five decades of my life, I see a long trajectory of decline in general happiness. Things aren’t better today than they used to be. The spark of excitement no longer exists in many of my endeavors. But I have more joy in Jesus than I would have ever thought possible. I’m thankful for that.
Happiness has always been an elusive object for me, so being less happy today than twenty-five years ago is a bit irrelevant. I once was unhappy and without joy. Now, even though I may not be the happiest person you’ll meet, the joy of Christ overwhelms me and easily compensates for any lack of happiness. I’ll take the truth of spiritual joy over the fleeting emotion of happiness any day. I couldn’t be more thankful for the gift of Joy available to each of us who professes Jesus as our Lord.
No matter what may come in this life, my eternity with Christ is assured and secured. When I am living with the right attitude, it’s difficult to take the trials of this world too seriously. They are temporary. The songwriter Jewel Kilcher once wrote, “Everything is temporary if you give it enough time.”. And that is how we must look at the trials, frustrations, and disappointments of our world. It’s all temporary. Everything around us is in decay and anticipating the return of Christ (Romans 8:20-23). I’m still thankful for the beauty of this world, but I’m looking forward to the extravagance of the world to come.
If your life is less than what you hoped or planned, remember Jesus is still God and He is always good. If you confess Christ as your Lord and turn from the things of this world, He is always with you. True love and repentance are all He asks of you. I’m still thankful for the amazing way of salvation God provided for us. I’m thankful for Jesus, who died in my place and defeated the power of death by resurrecting Himself to life. The light of Jesus overwhelms the darkest of days. His joy is unspeakable and unmeasurable. Don’t focus on what’s wrong in the world today, focus on what is right about Jesus. He is still our hope, the truth, and the only way to eternal life (John 14:6). Are you still thankful for that?