Challenged to be thankful

James 1:2-3: “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience”.


God has been pressing this scripture into my spirit lately. Between this one and Isaiah 30: 20 – 22 (and the whole 30th chapter)…I’m saying “Okay, God…I get it”. I woke up this morning and was challenged to be thankful. I’m in Africa away from family for Thanksgiving and I will be for the rest of the holidays this year and half of the ones next year. Add to that the losses I’ve had…trust me when I tell you Satan – the father of LIES – tries to get you to abort what God – the author AND finisher of your faith – plants inside of you at your lowest points in life.

I think God has been whispering these scripture to me because I need to be grateful and I need to finally understand who andwhat I need to be focused on. Yes, this year has had a lot of ups and downs, but it could always be worse. And I’d challenge you, that when you think you’re having a bad day, think about the baby in this picture.

His name is Awaleh and he lives in an undermanned orphanage in a third world country. Who knows how long he’ll be there, if anyone will adopt him, if he’s getting everything he needs to grow into a healthy boy and eventually a man. And even though it broke me up to leave him and see him cry when I put him down, I’m still grateful I got to hold him. Because when I did, I saw that he was so happy to be held, to be caressed, to be fed, to receive lovingkindness. It humbled me. I thought, if even this baby can be grateful to get something so simple, I should be grateful for everything God has done in my life. 

So the next time you think you don’t have anything to be grateful for, tell Satan to get out of your face, out of your house and that he cannot come in the door. The more you can thank God for what you do have – even if it’s only what you have left – the more He can move in your life through your faith. Don’t let the devil abort what you know God put in you.


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