Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why Be Thankful When Everything is Falling Apart?

When the sun is shining, the birds are singing, life is happy, it's easy to feel thankful. But what about the times when life breaks your heart? What then?

Bad news, sickness, financial trouble, broken dreams, broken relationships, broken homes, broken hearts; We are confronted with these enemies, and most often we don't seem to have a better choice than to use all of our energy to fight back.

When my heart or my body is broken, I don’t feel thankful.
I may feel anger, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, pain, unforgiveness, loneliness, disappointment, a sense of abandonment, hopeless; and some days I don’t seem to feel anything at all; but I don’t automatically feel thankful.
It’s difficult enough just to get out of bed in the morning, to put one foot in front of the other --Who has the energy to be thankful? I may feel the need to keep going or even to smile, for the sake of my family, or for guilt, or for necessity, or to try and keep hope alive, but giving up is often a more ready feeling than thanksgiving.

Sure, I might be able to find some reason(s) to be thankful, even in the midst of the most miserable of situations. But why should I? If the way I feel is the only consideration; if negative circumstances are the focus, then there actually may be no reason to be thankful.

Thankfully (no pun intended), there is a reason to be thankful that trumps every single one of our very real feelings of sorrow.

Thanksgiving is a reason in and of itself!

Thanksgiving is power! It is powerful to break the chains of sorrow! It is more powerful than our feelings! The problem is that unless we actually activate thanksgiving, it has no power;
the problem is that since we don’t feel thankful, we may not choose to activate this power.

Activating the power of thanksgiving is often a choice, not a feeling!

If I do choose to (grit my teeth and) activate thanksgiving, I activate a power against fear, depression, anger;
And I activate a power of forgiveness, faith, hope, love.

And more good news!: The more often we make the choice to be thankful, the more we begin to actually feel thankful, even when suffering comes.
This results in a more ready thank you when sorrow knocks at our door.
And a more ready thank you means a more ready power --- power which infuses us with strength to fight the enemies of suffering, and win!

We are not alone in our life-battles – thanksgiving is one of our allies.

So where did I come up with this theory?

From experience (even for the most analytical mind, some things just work, no explanation needed);
From watching others (noting the contrast between a bitter and a thankful life);
From listening to the counsel of those wiser than I;
And from the one place that I go to time and time again to find the answers to life’s most difficult questions – the Word of God.

One of my favorite scriptures regarding the power of a thankful heart is this:

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
~ Psalm 50:23 NIV

It is true that God in His wisdom has allowed suffering on this planet. We may never know why. But it is also true that for suffering He has provided a remedy.  He has provided that thanksgiving releases His power! The power of Love (God is Love). The power of Light (God is Light). The power of Truth (God is Truth). The power of a way out (God is the Way). The power of Peace (God is Peace).

When sorrow and suffering are at your door, when the last thing you feel like doing is being thankful, make a choice to open your mouth and say thank You anyway!
Open your mouth! Release The Power of a Thankful Heart!

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
~ Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

In every trial, trouble and sorrow, as  you pray for His help, offer your thanks, and be amazed at the peace of God, which is beyond our understanding! (Philippians 4:6-7)

God is bigger!

Talk to you tomorrow,

If you haven’t already done so, consider taking the Thank You Challenge! Order your book @

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  1. Yes, it is very true that thanksgiving is power. In my life I experiences the two faces. When I didn't thank God and lived free even from saying his name I was living in angry attitude. In that period God was merciful and didn't hit me by a destined pain. He waited for me to come to relaxation. I started to thank him and he hit me by the destined pain knowing that I would be able to bear it with thanks. And it passed. Yes thanksgiving gives power. Regards

  2. Hello Abdo
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I love hearing from readers. Be sure to join this blog -- there will be a new "Thank You" topic every day or so.