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How can we be thankful?

A Thanksgiving devotion

2020 has been quite the year. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably ready to see this year end and hope 2021 offers something better. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this year especially hard. Many families throughout the country, not to mention abroad, are struggling because of the pandemic. Job loss, illness, mental depression, adjusting to at-home learning or work and financial burdens are just a few of the challenges circling us all right now. 

In such times, how can we be thankful? It’s an honest question and one you may be contemplating as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week. 

In Paul’s ministry, he often met with grief and trials. From imprisonment and persecution to natural disasters and bodily ailments, yet he still found reason to give thanks, regardless of his circumstances. 

He says, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

It can be hard to find the good during times filled with what seems like one bad thing after another. So how can we be thankful? I think the secret to gratitude is maintaining a firm footing on who God is. 

Colossians 2:7 says that when we stay “rooted and built up in him and established in faith,” we will “abound in thanksgiving.” 

No matter what is going on around us, we can firmly believe that God is in control. He has saved us from death of our sins and in him we have a strong foundation to keep going. And that’s a good place to start feeling grateful.

Often when I start with what is easy to be thankful for, like God’s presence and love in my life, the list grows longer and longer as I find even more and more blessings.

This Thanksgiving, stay “rooted” in God’s blessings and his promises in your life and see how you can overflow with thankfulness, even during difficult times. 

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” –Psalm 9:1-2

Written by Aimee Freston, associate director of digital communications for Buckner International

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