Faith: There’s always a reason to be thankful

By Judy Brandon
Religion columnist

It is Thanksgiving time. Even though we as a family have faced the most difficult time in our lives in recent weeks, we are determined to see God’s blessings even in the midst of our sorrow. Over these last days, I have found that even in sadness, God meets me at my need and still He gives me reasons to be thankful. When I am overwhelmed with sadness, I: “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.” (Psalm 105:4). Recognizing our blessings and knowing that God almighty is in control, even though we do not at times understand His plan, brings a satisfying sense of thankfulness.

Many Biblical characters faced sorry, fear, and frustration. Their stories were not necessarily about thankfulness … but they had to look for the blessings in our lives, even when the circumstances seemed dreary. Focusing on blessings from the Lord in spite of sadness and sorrow, has helped me remember that I must trust Him to make it through each day.

Throughout the Scriptures, we read about people who were thankful. These personalities were all in different situations. Some were overwhelmed with trouble and calamity. Others were healed by the Savior. Some were simply grateful that their hunger was satisfied. In all instances, many Bible characters recognized their need to be thankful.

• Gideon was thankful God was with him and even with a little army of 300 he defeated the mighty Midianites. (Judges 6 and 7)

• Eli was thankful that Hannah gave her young son Samuel into the service of God to help him in the temple. (1 Samuel 1 and 2)

• Job was thankful that God restored all he had and then some. (Job 42)

• The man Samuel was thankful he grew up in the temple and learned the ways of the Lord and spent a lifetime of service to the Lord.( 1 Samuel)

• Jesse, although he was stunned when Samuel anointed young David as the future king of Israel, was no doubt thankful that God had shown his favor on young David. (1 Samuel 16)

• David was thankful that Abigail came to his rescue, provided food for David and his men. (1 Samuel 25)

• Jonah was thankful God saved him. He then in complete obedience to God went into the wicked city of Nineveh and prophesied about their doom if they did not turn to God. (The book of Jonah).

• Joseph was thankful the angel came to him because otherwise, he would not have trusted Mary and might have divorced her since she was pregnant. (Matthew 1)

• Matthew was thankful Jesus called him. Matthew therefore was an eye witness to Jesus’ ministry. As a result we have the book of Matthew. (Matthew 9:9-12)

• Peter, even though he believed he would never deny Christ, was thankful that Jesus forgave him after he had denied Christ three times. (Mark 14:66-72)

• Zacharias was thankful God gave him a son in his old age. His son was John, the forerunner of Christ. (Luke 1)

• At least one leper out of the 10 was thankful Jesus healed him. (Luke 17:11-17)

• John the Baptist was thankful he could be the one to announce that Jesus the Messiah was coming, one he was not “worthy to untie his shoes.” (John 3)

• The disciples were thankful, and I am sure that the little boy with five loaves and two fish was thankful in his own way, when Jesus used the child’s meager lunch to feed the five thousand thankful people on the hillside, then the five thousand people were thankful! (John 6: 1-14)

• The man blind from birth was thankful Jesus healed him. Even when the Pharisees quizzed him, trying to condemn Jesus, the man said he knew nothing … just that Jesus healed him. The blind man was thankful at last to see. (John 9)

• When the ship wrecked, all the men on the ship with Paul were saved. Paul was able to testify about God and tell the others that no life would be lost even if the ship wrecked. Then I believe that Paul was always thankful, throughout his life, that he had the privilege of being a servant of Jesus Christ and telling others about Him. (Acts 27 and 28)

• John was thankful he was allowed to see visions and evidences of the New Jerusalem. Today we have the book of Revelation. (Revelation 1:1-19)

Our family these past few weeks, even in sadness and sorrow, has been thankful to God who has met our daily needs. How? “Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.” (Psalm 105:4).

I am thankful for God’s strength and comfort this Thanksgiving season.

Judy Brandon writes about faith for the Clovis News Journal. Contact her at:
cbrandon@plateautel.net