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Being Thankful During Difficult Times

Catherine Aylor

When we think about being thankful.  Often, we think about the season of Thanksgiving.  This is when many people think about spending time with family and friends, good food, helping others less fortunate, and many other scenarios.  What about the scenario of being thankful during or even being thankful for difficult times.  That is not always easy to do.  It may sometimes be easy for others to say when it is not their difficulty, but how do we handle difficult times with a thankful spirit.  

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 

This is a great verse, but particularly the word EVERYTHING jumps out at me along with THIS IS the WILL of GOD.  I have always been told or have heard, “The perfect place to be is in the ‘center of His WILL’.”  So, if the center of his will is the perfect place to be and we are supposed to be giving thanks for everything; it must be possible to make it through the difficult times while still being thankful. 

Recently we have experienced death of a great magnitude.  My husband had lost his oldest brother in April of 2023, and it was unexpected, and we were just starting to get back to some kind of normality because it was up to us to handle since he wasn’t married and didn’t have any children to do so.  We had a planned mission trip with our church to the Navajo Nation in August of that same year.  We were so excited as we had never been on a mission’s trip.  The trip arrived and my husband, son, and I were among almost 60 who would attend this trip.  We flew in and then drove quite a distance to get to where we would be staying.  It had been a very long day and trip not to mention I had lost my computer along the way.  That morning when I awoke, I received a devastating message that my other brother-in-law, only one year older than my husband, was found deceased in his home.  I could continue the story, but to say the least it was difficult.  We had a decision to make; to go home or stay.  We decided to make the decision after the service that evening.  God’s prudence to do so was the best decision.  We heard two amazing messages that solidified our staying. 

This ability to do so increased our faith as well as others who were watching how we

were going to handle our “…in EVERYTHING give thanks…”  We were thankful God gave the funds to be able to go.  We were thankful God allowed the opportunity to do it as a family.  We were thankful other believers so many miles from home along with our church family rallied around my husband in support and in prayer.  We were thankful we got to walk the streets and help reach people who were hurt from drug, alcohol, and other things that had once controlled my brother in law’s life in years past who had just passed away.  We were thankful this happened after our arrival because had it happened before we wouldn’t have gone on the mission trip.  We were thankful for the man whom my husband got to lead to the Lord the last day on the last street we knocked before heading back home.  We were thankful when we arrived and had to go to my brother-in-law's home. He had his Bible, a tract, and a daily devotional book opened to the day he passed away.  You want to know how to be thankful in difficult times.  Use thankfulness like faith.  Each measure of faith you are given increases the next measure of faith needed for the harder things in the future.  In EVERYTHING give thanks starts with the small things and you can remember those things to help you be thankful in the Difficult “TIMES” because with God everything is “multiplied”!  


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