Give Thanks In All Circumstances

We are thankful to you, the women in our Drawing Near community. You are a blessing to our team of teachers, worship leaders, small group leaders, staff, and volunteers. As we transition from our fall teaching and worship season to the holiday season, we are sharing some of Joanne’s past blog posts to inspire us and remind us to show gratitude and love. 


This past weekend was a whirlwind. I was behind in everything and needed to play catch up. Although it was good to start out the week having accomplished some needed things, I found myself complaining last night that I didn’t leave room for relaxing especially knowing the coming week would be very busy. My attitude reflected my internal struggle, and to add to my bad attitude, I didn’t feel great all weekend (not COVID friends, allergies).

So… this morning, in my quiet time with the Lord, we had a chat about my attitude. Well, it wasn’t exactly a chat. It was an all-out time of repenting. As the sun began to rise, I remembered Paul’s words:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Recalling all of the times that I have needed an attitude adjustment, it was thankfulness that unstuck my hard heart. With Thanksgiving in a few days, it is a good time for all of us to take stock of the many blessings we have. This year has been unsettling and it has been easy to fall prey to self-pity or struggling to find balance in our lives. My solution was to begin the day with a list of the things for which I am grateful. By the time I finished my list, my heart softened, and my attitude shifted. My suggestion is that this week as we approach Thanksgiving, followed by Advent, we all start a grateful journal.

Thanksgiving Day is an annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) at Plymouth with the Wampanoag people. Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings. This year, many people cannot travel due to the pandemic so it is especially difficult to feel joyful, but the truth is our joy– true joy comes from the Lord.

My son is dating a precious girl and I asked him early on why he liked her so much. His answer is engraved on my heart: “Mom, she has a kind and grateful heart.” I can hear a collective awww….

Precious Summer

A thankful and grateful heart is a rare commodity these days. We all hear a fair amount of complaining and outpouring of anxious thoughts.

But God…

Tells us that His Word brings us joy.

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full. (John 15:10)

HIS WORDS…  the words of Jesus are the words that bring us joy.

HIS PRESENCE….brings us joy.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11)

Our circumstances are like shifting sand and our attitudes tend to shift with the circumstances, but Jesus is The Rock on which we stand. Praise and thanksgiving are the tools that adjust our hearts and attitudes. So back to this morning. I began to thank the Lord for anything and everything I could think of, and my sense of well-being was restored.

This Thanksgiving week would you consider joining me in daily journaling all the ways in which you are thankful? Together we can rise up from the ashes of despair, discouragement, and doubt (I call those the three deadly “Ds”); and become the collective light to the world.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

PS- would love for you to comment on this blog on the ways in which you are thankful.


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