“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”
The Thanksgiving holiday is in sight and we are called to be thankful. There are seasons when it seems almost impossible to practice gratitude. Things are falling apart, and maybe have been for awhile. Your job is not what you thought it would be. Your kids are not obedient. Your marriage is suffering. You are struggling with your health. You are single—still.
And then there are greater, bigger picture things going on in the world that grab your attention. Horrible atrocities, people dying, social injustice, poverty, and the orphan crisis.
How can we practice being thankful when everywhere we look there is something hard to bear? What can we stand on if everything around us is falling apart?
A few years ago my husband and I were simultaneously facing the heartbreak of infertility and a major job crisis. One would have been enough to deal with but the Lord, in his providence, allowed us to face both at the same time. There were days when we wondered if we would ever be through that dark valley. Our circumstances shook us on a daily basis; however there is a reason why Paul writes in Philippians to think on what is true (Phil. 4:8).
Meditating on what is true is a powerful remedy when we cannot stand. It certainly gave us hope when everything around us caused us despair. When we fix our eyes on what is true, it changes the way we see our circumstances. The circumstances themselves may not change but we know that God’s Word tells us that those who hope in the Lord will not be disappointed. (Is. 49:23)
Hebrews 12:28 tells us that in Christ we have received a “kingdom that cannot be shaken.” That, my friend, is truth to stand on. What glorious hope is found in this verse! Circumstances will shake us. But in Christ we are never shaken. In Him we can bear whatever He allows us to walk through because He has triumphed over sin and we can have fellowship with God. We might feel shaken in this world but that does not change the truth. Once we understand that Christ is our only hope that saves us from the penalty of sin, we can stand firm and trust that He has purposes even in the suffering.
This Thanksgiving are you finding it hard to be thankful? Try fixing your eyes on Christ and what He has accomplished, and you will move from a shaky place into a place of worship and gratitude. ~Courtney
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace. -Helen H. Lemmel (1922)