Monday, November 24, 2008

AT THE WELL...having a thankful heart

WELCOME to our weekly gathering over AT THE WELL. This week, as the leading host, I wanted to start us all off in the discussion on giving thanks during difficult times. I encourage you to check out all of this week's participants by clicking on their blog postings found below in Mr. Linky.

IT IS EASY TO GIVE THANKS when everything is going well. But how easy is it to give thanks when we are low in the valley?


This week's discussion questions:
#1- How do you give thanks during difficult times?
#2 - Share with your readers a testimony of how God brought you thru a difficult time.
#3 - What is the most memorable Thanksgiving you have experienced?

PSALM 100:4 "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name."

Even when life becomes incredibly tough, if we are still breathing and our heart is still beating, there is a reason to praise God! No matter what was stolen from you...


  • health
  • possessions
  • family
  • friends
It is not enough to stop you from living. You are still here. You are still alive and from here you can go anywhere with God!

HOW CAN I GIVE THANKS DURING A DIFFICULT TIME?
No matter what state you may find yourself in, there is no limit to what God can do with you and with your life. In order to enter into the presence of God during your difficult time - something has to happen!

YOU HAVE TO BE THANKFUL!

Have you ever wondered how you can be thankful when it seems like the world is caving in on you? The secret is FAITH. To have faith means that you completely trust in the word of someone who is faithful. Faith in God means that you believe the promises found in the Bible - faith is believing God's Word.

If you are still hurting - you can be thankful for God's promises to bring peace and comfort!
(1 Corinthians 1:3,4)

If you are still sick - you can be thankful for a God who heals! (Isaiah 53:5)

If you are still in need - you can be thankful for a God who provides! (Matthew 6:31,32)

~The answer to the HOW ...is to give thanks for EVERYTHING
(whether it is good or bad.)


Hardships in life can cause us to recognize God's grace in our lives. Back in the year 1620, when the pilgrims left England, they had no idea of the hardships that awaited them:

  • during the initial voyage, for nine weeks they were rocked by stormy weather.
  • their first year, they were completely unaccostomed to extended periods of cold weather.
  • the supply ships often did not arrive as scheduled - leaving them without food and supplies.

When spring arrived in the year 1621, the pilgrims were able to plant their crops. And the harvest that fall was bountiful. The governor of the colony recognized that they had much to be thankful for. It was at this time that the governor called the pilgrims together and issued a proclamation for a public day of giving thanks to God for their survival.

This marked the "first" thanksgiving feast which included turkey, cornbread, squash and pumpkin. All in honor of God for His provision.

We can learn so much from that "first thanksgiving".

No matter what life throws at you, remember that God is with you. Just like He was with the pilgrims all those years ago. Even though they went thru hardships, they recognized the blessings that the Lord bestowed upon them. God will always extend His grace to us even in our times of need.

HOW HAS GOD BROUGHT ME THRU?

There is not one time that I can recall that God has not been there for me.

  • I am not the richest person in the world.
  • I do not live in the biggest house on the block.
  • I do not drive the newest kind of car.
  • I am not a world-wide traveler.
  • I don't even have a summer home on the lake.

But never, never, never have I gone without.

  • I have always been able to pay my bills.
  • I have always had a warm house to come home to.
  • I have always been able to find my way to work, church and get groceries.
  • I have always had plenty to eat.
  • I have never gone without clothing, shoes or plenty of purses!

There have been times that I have forgotten! I have forgotten how blessed I am. Each day, each hour, each minute I need to count my blessings.

PSALM 107:8 "Give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men."

MOST MEMORABLE THANKSGIVING?

I have so many fond memories of thanksgiving dinners. ~ At Grandma's house when I was growing up. ~ Around our table with our young children. ~ Having friends invite us over when so we wouldn't spend the holiday alone.

The food. The laughter. The football games. The clean-up. The pies. The fellowship. The fun.

Did I mention the food?

So many great memories. But, if I had to choose the most memorable Thanksgiving...it would have to be the one that I did not attend. It was that "first thanksgiving", back in the 1600's as the pilgrims set the example for us today to be thankful in everything!

PHILIPPIANS 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

ARE YOU HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME?

WHAT ARE YOU GIVING GOD THANKS FOR?

Please let us know by copying your AT THE WELL post in Mr. Linky. Thank you for joining us for this week's AT THE WELL!










10 comments:

momstheword said...

Laurie, That is a beautiful post. I loved how you tied in the pilgrims and being thankful. Thank you for sharing.

Btw, I somehow messed up my name but I think my link will be o.k. I have no idea what I did and I couldn't see how to fix it.

Laurie Ann said...

Absolutely fantastic post on being thankful, during good times and bad. Loved the Thanksgiving history lesson, too. Great reminder! Thank you for hosting this week. Such a timely topic, Laurie! Good job!

Patti said...

Thanks for hosting this, Laurie. Giving thanks in difficult circumstances is SO important. By faith, ALL the Word of God is to be obeyed...and that includes giving thanks in all circumstances.

Blessings,
Patti

Patty Wysong said...

We are so blessed! Thanks for reminding us just how good we truly have it.

Daniel's Mom said...

This was very encouraging post. It has so much insight and wisdom. Thank you,Laurie! I love the story of the Pilgrims.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Loved hearing the history of Thanksgiving, and how it applies to us today. When you think about it, one can almost always go back to something in the middle of a trial to remind them to be thankful and grateful. Wonderful, insightful teaching as usual, and a topic I needed to ponder. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful post, Laurie! We are so blessed even in the difficult times when life seems to be so unfair. Praising Him and being thankful is a choice and sometimes, making that choice doesn't come easy but He asks us to obey Him regardless.

Thanks for sharing a very powerful post today.

Love you!

DarcyLee said...

I love reading about the faith of the Pilgrims. Thank you for the encouragement.

Marcia Wilwerding said...

Laurie, I am so glad you chose the topic of thankfulness during the tough times because that is when we can find things to truly be thankful for. When things are going well, we tend to not be as thankful for the little, simple things. Difficulties make us isolate those often overlooked blessings.

Thank you!

lori said...

I've been packing today and couldn't join ya'll....priorities...HA! What a beautiful post and one that just touched my heart! I just did a bible study with my teen girls about giving thanks ALL the time...the discussions were wonderful...What a blessing to read this!

peace,
lori