It's not always easy to feel thankful. Christians around the world find themselves in a variety of circumstances. Millions of believers reside in places where they can worship Jesus freely while millions in other parts of the world face life-threatening persecution for their faith. Many believers experience conditions of extreme poverty while others live in abundance. There are believers who enjoy good health and those who endure short and longterm illnesses. Some Christians experience great sorrows while others seem to live relatively peaceful lives.
Despite these wide differences, all believers can rejoice in the Lord. As the apostle Paul reminds us,
We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).
Paul also comforts us that we can rest in God's sovereign will because the Lord is with us through all the ups and downs of life:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:11–13)
Here are four reasons every Christian can be thankful to God today:
1. You are still alive.
Because you are alive, God still has more purpose for your life here on earth. Be thankful for another day to grow in the knowledge of your beloved Lord. Also, each day you have is another opportunity to love and serve God and your neighbor:
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3:17)
2. This present world is still here.
Because this present world is still here, God is still bringing people into Christ’s kingdom by the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 3:9). Pray for God to redeem as many souls as is in his perfect will. Think of ways you can share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ with people you come in contact with today:
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Pet. 3:15)
3. Satan will not have the final word; God will.
Even though the world is filled with so much sorrow and evil, Jesus Christ has already reconciled the world to himself (2 Cor. 5:17). Evil will not exist forever. Christ will return, the old shall pass away, and the new will come:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Rev. 21:4)
4. God will never forsake you.
Even though life can seem overwhelming at times, Christians can take heart that God is their heavenly Father who always cares for them (John 16:33; 1 John 3:1). The Lord has promised that he will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5), and he has a glorious eternity waiting for you that is beyond anything you could possibly imagine:
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Matt. 10:29–31)
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Cor. 2:9)