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Giving Thanks No Matter How I Feel

“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” (Galatians 3:26-29 NLT)

Thanksgiving is intrinsically rewarding as graciousness is practiced and reciprocated.  Even more so for the citizen of heaven who has a treasury of blessings to rejoice in. Yet in the expectation of a thankful heart, there is the chance of discouragement to damper the atmosphere as a year’s worth of disappointments, difficult circumstances, and spiritual warfare is recounted along with the good times.  How does one reconcile the heaviness of their feelings with the truth of God’s generosity, goodness, and grace? 

The tendency when the warfare comes is to somehow take the weight it on ourselves and subtly begin to think it is a result of something we have caused. That thought grows into a determination to work harder, right the ship of our feelings, and essentially snap out of it. Even more, heightened during holidays like Thanksgiving as family and friends arrive and expect everything to be rosy.  Hopefully, the spirit of thankfulness is not being sapped away because of the warfare, because of the difficulties, because of difficult people, because of self- condemnation.

There is so much encouragement for the child of God in the third chapter of Galatians. “After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?... You are his heirs, and God's promise to Abraham belongs to you." (Galatians 3:3, 29 NLT) The reality of our identity, regardless of how we feel, is that we are children of faith. Our feelings don’t change who we are or who He is, and we can rejoice in this truth and offer thanksgiving that we are His.

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