Are You Thankful When Things Go Wrong?

by Joe Plemon on November 21, 2009

Creative Commons License photo credit: pegraphics

I will spare you the details, but God has taught me much about thankfulness  by walking with me through difficult times.  True thankfulness, I believe, is a learned trait;  one that can only be learned from God.

“But Joe!…I know many thankful people who aren’t Christians.”

Maybe so. But I ask: “Are they thankful when life throws them a curve or just when life is good?” Anyone can be thankful for his good health, but what if his health fails? Everyone with a job should be thankful for that job, but can that same person still be thankful if the job disappears?

Before you think I am advocating some positive thinking mumbo jumbo, allow me to tell you where I am coming from. Paul admonishes the church in Thessalonica to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (bold lettering by me)

Our God wants us to have thankful attitudes, not FOR all circumstances, but IN all circumstances.  When tough times come, we may never learn “why”, but we can nevertheless trust.  Why should we trust God?  Because he knows the big picture and he loves us and is always working for our good.  Therefore, when we trust him,  even when life is falling apart, we can be deeply thankful.   This level of thankfulness can only be taught by God.

I wish you the very best this Thanksgiving. I hope that you have many wonderful things to be thankful about. But I also hope that, even if things aren’t going all that well, you can nevertheless be thankful.

Here are a couple of Thanksgiving posts I have enjoyed this week:

Other good reading:

  • Not Thanksgiving food, but a fun read: Jeff Rose shares “Reasons Why I Love In-N-Out Burger: It’s No Secret” on his Good Financial Cents site.  Warning: if you are a burger lover like me, this post will cause some serious hunger pains.
  • Will you do some or all of your Christmas shopping on-line?  Have you ever used a rebate site?  Do you know what a rebate site is?  Read this post to learn how to save some holiday money:  “How to Do Your Holiday Shopping Through Rebate Sites”at Consumer Commentary.
  • I had never really considered what the Bible had to say about retirement until I read Jason’s two part post entitled “Is Retirement Biblical?” at Redeeming Riches.  Are you a “my timer”, a “no timer” or a “give timer”?  You will have to read to find out.
  • Do you like to receive gift cards?  Do you give them?  Read Patrick’s post on Gift Cards, “The Good, the Bad and The Ugly” at Cash Money Life to learn some good and not so good aspects of gift cards.
  • Are you still contributing to your 401k?  Here’s the 2010 401k Contribution Limits at Good Financial Cents.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Craig @ Money Help For Christians November 22, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Joe thanks for including my article posted at Bible Money Matters.

Now as to the Thanksgiving dinner for $8 – I live overseas and we are finding it hard to locate our essential Thanksgiving food. One of my teammates was in the capital city of Papua New Guinea trying to find a turkey, but there is not a turkey (we can find) in the country. Our local grocery store has a ham – $125. Too bad we don’t have a Walmart :).


Joe Plemon November 22, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Bummer about the lack of turkey…or the exhorbitant ham. Will your meal bear any semblance of our traditional Thanksgiving dinner?


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