Greg Laurie on Giving Thanks, Even When It Feels Impossible

After a year that has been filled with sickness, violence and despair, celebrating Thanksgiving almost seems wrong.

When things are going well, it’s relatively easy to give thanks. But when times are tough, as they are right now, it’s hard to give thanks at all.

I’ve been there. Here’s how I’ve learned to give thanks when it feels impossible:

Recognize God Is in Control

We lost our son Christopher David Laurie in a tragic car accident 12 years ago. He left behind a wife and two daughters, one who was yet to be born.

How was I supposed to be thankful to God that year?

Over time, I’ve come to understand that I must recognize God is in control of all circumstances surrounding my life, even the terrible ones. Such a recognition is an act of faith.

The apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

The idea of “good” here is not our usual definition of “good.” Paul is talking about all things working to make us more like Jesus. And Jesus suffered immensely. Yes, He submitted to His Father’s will, but He also cried out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46).

Although it may not feel like it, God knows what is going on in our lives. And we know from Scripture that He sorrows with us.

We can thank him for that.

Recognize God Loves You

If God loves me, my family and Christopher’s family, then why did he let Christopher die?

C.S. Lewis, who lost several people he loved, also wrestled with this question. In The Problem of Pain, he wrote:

“The problem of reconciling human suffering with the existence of a God who loves, is only insoluble so long as we attach a trivial meaning to the word ‘love,’ and look on things as if man were the center of them. Man is not the center. God does not exist for the sake of man … We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that, too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the Divine love may rest ‘well pleased.'”

I have to trust God’s love is infinitely greater than my own. Jesus, God made flesh, suffered for us out of love. He is intimately acquainted with our pain.

We can thank him for that.

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SOURCE: Charisma News