As we think about the holiday just past (Thanksgiving) and prepare for the next (Christmas), we should truly see the blessings God has bestowed to all. In Christmas, we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. On Thanksgiving we are to be praising Him for all of His blessings to us. The greatest of these blessings is Jesus Christ. His birth was just the beginning as He was sent to be the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, that they who would trust in Him might have eternal life in Heaven.
Many people live difficult lives and all of us face difficult situations, many of which have tragic consequences. We can look at these problems with a bitter spirit or we can see them as opportunities to learn, grow and motivate to success. The Apostle Paul said in II Corinthians, “Therefore I take pleasure in mine infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake for when I am weak, then am I strong.” He knew whatever he was facing, he could deal with it by his faith in God. He had confidence in God’s promise given in the previous verse where He said, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” He knew whatever came his way was to be used for God’s glory.
Each of us deals with different problems: pain, sorrow, poverty, rocky relationships and many other things. We can have an attitude of hopelessness and depression or we can realize His blessing is still relevant in the world today. I recently spoke at my father’s funeral and made this statement: “We can be bitter that we have to go on without the one we love or we can be grateful for the time God has allowed us to have with him.”
This is true, not only in the loss of a loved one, but in every difficult situation encountered. For example: In a time of financial distress, we can be bitter and complain about the unfairness of life or we can praise God that He has placed us in a point in history where we have the freedom to work hard and find opportunities to fix the problems. Look around and realize that even the worst off among us are blessed with opportunities that the vast majority of people throughout history have never had. Look at the obstacles as opportunities for God’s grace to work in each situation in life.
Carrollton Baptist Temple