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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:
- Craig tells us “4 Ways to Develop a Thankful Heart Before Thanksgiving” at Bible Money Matters. As always, he challenges us to some introspection, so don’t read unless you are up to a challenge.
- Kelly Whalen, staff writer at Moolanomy, give all kinds of practical advice in “How to Have a Wonderful Yet Frugal Thanksgiving“.. For instance, did you know that, for $20, you can buy all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner for 8 at Wal Mart?
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.