Are You Puzzled By My Thanksgiving?

“Give Thanks to the LORD and proclaim His Greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done. Sing to Him; yes, sing His Praises. Tell everyone about His Wonderful Deeds. Exult in His Holy Name; Rejoice, you who worship the LORD. Search for the LORD and for His Strength; continually seek Him. Remember the Wonders He has performed, His Miracles, and the Rulings He has given …. ” – Psalms 105:1‭-‬5 NLT

Does it puzzle and perplex you, that people in the midst of great trials can Praise our LORD; can give Thanks to GOD for the situation? Let’s see if we can make it a little less puzzling. For followers of JESUS, we have the perfect example of thankfulness during extreme trials. After all, our trials are a poor imitation of the torture that our LORD endured, or the persecution of the early disciples and believers.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in GOD, and trust also in Me {JESUS}.” – John 14:1 NLT

“….. through Him {JESUS CHRIST} God reconciled everything to Himself. He made Peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s Blood on the cross. I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church.” – Colossians 1:20‭, ‬24 NLT

“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.” – Luke 23:34 NLT

By giving thanks, and by forgiving those who hurt us, we take away their power over us; we take away the enemy’s power. On my own, it is impossible to be thankful for my situation. In my own mind, forgiving others is absolutely impossible, but here’s the thing. By NOT being thankful and by not offering forgiveness, I’m keeping the wounds in my heart and my mind open. By not letting myself heal, I am allowing in hate and disgust and anger, and these all work to infect and fester. This creates a toxic atmosphere within me, so that I become locked into the prison of my own making. It doesn’t hurt the other people at all!

My thanksgiving doesn’t come because of my goodness, and forgivess is not possible by myself. It is only when we give it all over to our LORD JESUS that we can begin the healing process. It’s a process, a journey to get there. If – no, when – we have an open wound on the outside of our body, or a disease within our physical body, most of us don’t just ignore it and hope for the best. No, we go to a medical practitioner for help in healing, and even though the remedy is often painful, we thank the medical person for getting us onto a healing track. Our inner healing can be the same. It may require painful “surgery” to get rid of the ugliness, but Jesus is known as the Great Physician for a reason! He knows we have to eliminate the bad, and to do that, we have to use the medicine of forgiveness and thanksgiving that we receive through Him and through prayer to the Father. It is absolutely amazing how completely freeing it can be to enlist His help, because when it is humanly impossible to do something (like forgive, or to be thankful), that’s exactly when Jesus can step in and do His best work! I am living proof of the possibilities ….. and I am still healing. Thank You, Jesus, for working miracles in my heart!

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