A couple of days ago, I was feeling sorry for myself and I started complaining about how unfair my life was on social media. I got a few likes and comments because who isn’t going through something, right? Knowing that I wasn’t alone in my misery felt so good until I saw some of the people commenting. I knew that some of them were dealing with things that make my issues look like a joke. I’m talking about truly unimaginable, life altering issues, yet, they still took time to encourage me. If they knew what I was complaining about, they could have gotten offended and let me have it, especially since I knew what they had been dealing with and probably hadn’t called to check in on them.
At that moment, I had to ask God for forgiveness because at the end of the day, I’m blessed. What I should have posted was: Thank You, God that even though I’m dealing with some things that I don’t understand and I think is unfair, You’re still with me. You are still merciful and patient. You still love me. You are greater than my problems, my drama and my temper tantrums. You are not a God of chaos or confusion but a God of peace. These light and momentary troubles will last for a while but Your love and Your faithfulness will last forever. I know that the plans You have for me are to prosper me and not to harm me.
Now, this would not have been a popular post but I wish I had the boldness to have posted it anyway. In the middle of trouble we can never stop praising God. It’s not the trouble or the problem that we’re thanking Him for, it’s the help, peace and wisdom that He provides. Know that the moment we turn over our problems over to God, the battle is won. We may not see it immediately but it’s done-yes and Amen. Just give Him the praise for it.
“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3 NIV
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
When a door is closed on an opportunity that we’ve spent a long time hoping for, the last thing we want to do is to give thanks and praise to God. We typically want to ask God why He isn’t making good on His promises to us. We feel rejected and hurt. After several closed doors, we start to feel like giving up. We start thinking that maybe our dreams just weren’t meant to come true.
Sometimes our feelings of disappointment can hinder us from seeing the blessings in front of us. When we have a dream in our heart, we can become so consumed with our own ideas of how and when things should happen. We forget that God’s plans are always bigger than what we can ever imagine. His line of sight goes far beyond ours, which allows Him to see troubles and obstacles down the road that we can’t see. He knows the pain we may experience when a door is closed may pale in comparison to the pain we would experience if He allowed us to walk through that door. A lot of those doors we wanted open would not only have set us back but could have taken us out entirely.
Another thing we tend to forget is that God’s timing never matches our own. We may think we’re ready but God knows we have more growing to do. The blessings He has in store for us usually require us to be more spiritually mature because they come with greater responsibilities and even greater battles. God’s plan is always for us to succeed. He doesn’t want to put us in a position that would cause us to fail. If we walk through some doors too soon, we may not be ready for the challenges that come along with them and we could decide to give up and walk away.
Never be ashamed of a closed door. Always give thanks to God because you know in your heart that God has your best interests in mind. If you come across a closed door, know that God has an even better door for you to walk through around the corner.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Lord, even though you knew I would complain, curse, have a bad attitude and be tempted to grow weary with doing good today, You still woke me up. In spite of my potential to add to the negativity of world, You saw my potential to add positivity. You still chose me to be Your hands and feet on the earth. Lord, I’m amazed at Your ability to see the good in me. Every day that You give me breath, You give me a chance to be the person that You know I can be. I can’t adequately express my gratitude. Thank you, Lord, for Your mercy and love endures forever.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.” 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV
This may have been a rough year for some, it definitely has been for me. There have been disappointments and heartaches but this week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is a holiday that is specifically dedicated to remembering and acknowledging our blessings.
Although, many things may have gone wrong this year, we have still been under the blessing of God. The fact that we are still alive is a blessing. Most of us will gather around a table full of food with family, which is also a blessing. There is a least one thing that we can all think of that we are thankful for. Now is the time to thank God for them.
I know that lately, our society has gone from Halloween to Christmas but let us not forget about Thanksgiving Day. It is when we keep a thankful heart that we leave ourselves open to receiving more blessings. God is good even when things are bad. Let’s give Him praise and honor, not only on Thanksgiving Day but everyday.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving Day, everyone!
“I will give thanks to you Lord, with all my heart, I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 NIV