Perhaps you are experiencing a much different Thanksgiving this year than you have in years past. We are—not all of our immediate family will be together, let alone our extended family.
Sometimes, we go through times where it is hard to be thankful. Perhaps a loved one is suffering, perhaps you are suffering. Perhaps the entire world is suffering.
My youngest daughter, (who is 13), said—“I’ve been told by others, that their 13th year was really hard—but I never expected how hard it would be to be 13 in 2020.” We laughed together—but she is right—if you are already going through a difficult time—this year has made it even more difficult.
I am reading through the book of Daniel right now. Why? Well, several reasons—it is teaching me so much about putting myself in God’s hands in difficult situations. Daniel and his friends had been taken captive from Israel. They saw their entire nation destroyed. They saw loved ones killed or carried away by the Babylonians or scattered to the four winds.
When Daniel’s friends were to be thrown into the fiery furnace for not bowing down to an image of gold that the King set up—they said, “…if we are thrown into the blazing furnace the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O King. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” When they said that, they really did not know if God would save them—after all they had seen so many deaths already— yet they were going to obey God no matter what. Why? What difference would it have made if they compromised or not? I believe these young men knew God—they loved Him—and they would not betray Him. He was worthy of their lives.
If I am honest, I’ve grown up in the age of “Grace”, where God’s blessings have been abundant. We may even think in this nation, that they are somehow “deserved”.
I am convinced that the most Holy God is worthy of all my love and my obedience and my trust, even if I do not “see” His blessings. The more I get to know Him, the more convinced I am of this truth. So, as I pray to God, I ask that I continue to “see” Him and to “know” Him—for this is the true blessing. This is why, Ephesians says that we’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly places. Knowing God and being known by Him is “every spiritual blessing.” Everything else fades in comparison.
Least you think that I am some super spiritual person—on a different plane than others—let me say that I struggle with “fixing my eyes” on Jesus, as do most believers. I can easily look at my circumstances and become derailed. This year has been an especially difficult year for looking at my circumstances. I keep hoping and praying that it will be at an end—that things will get back to “normal”, while becoming more convinced that maybe things will never be “normal” again.
Another reason I am reading the book of Daniel, is that it speaks to more of what is going to happen in the future than almost any book, except Revelations. In fact, if you want to understand Revelations, you need to read the Old Testament Prophets, as they hold the keys to unlocking the prophesies in Revelation. Daniel and the other Old Testament Prophets also have fulfilled prophesies— thus testifying to the trustworthiness of God and His Word.
Right now— we may be seeing the groundwork laid for end-time prophesies being fulfilled. I always wondered how a “One-World Government” could take place—and now I could actually see that happening—we have seen a “worldwide” type of control happening in this pandemic. Our churches have been ordered closed; our businesses have been ordered closed. We have become more dependent on the “Government” for our survival and more compliant to accepting their control. I know many who read this are scoffing at my ideas, believe me, I would like to be wrong– I hope I am wrong.
What does this mean for you and I? What it has always meant—we need to be ready to enter into God’s Heaven. Read: “Would You Like To Know God Personally”– to get further instructions on how to be ready. If you are already a believer but want to know how to let Jesus live in and through you, so you can live out God’s purpose for you, read: “Satisfied?”
I am praying for us all that we will know and follow Jesus!!
Let me say again: Happy Thanksgiving!! May we be truly thankful for the best gift we could ever receive—Jesus!! He is the reason we can BE ENCOURAGED!!