As we find ourselves upon another holiday season, many of us will gather with family and friends to have large meals and exchange gifts. For many this is a special and joyous time of year. Yet for others the holiday season is one of loneliness, sadness and bitterness. For many people the holidays represent the most depressing time of the year. Perhaps they recently lost a loved one, maybe they’re battling some health issues, or they may be in between jobs and dealing with the added stress of a financial hardship over the holidays. The sadness, hurt and despair when dealing with these types of difficult situations are often intensified during the holidays.
Most of us have been in difficult or depressing circumstances at one point or another in our life. Maybe it’s not during the holidays, but if we live long enough we can virtually be assured that there will be some dark days in life. During these dark days it can sometimes be difficult to still feel thankful and grateful to God for what He’s done in our lives. 1st Thessalonians 5:18 calls for us to be thankful in all circumstances. In all circumstances? How are we to be thankful if our health is failing, if we just lost a job, or even worse, just lost a loved one? It’s not easy, but it can be done if we maintain a Christ focused perspective. A Christ focused perspective puts Him first, by being thankful for what God has done for us in the past and what our faith in Jesus has promised for us in our future.
A Christ focused perspective is being thankful and blessed that God put that loved one in our life for the years they were here with us on earth. Of course we’ll miss our deceased loved ones, and it will be a huge loss to us, but be thankful that we had them in our life for the time we did. A Christ focused perspective is being thankful to God for the job He provided you in the past, and trusting Him to provide another job opportunity for you in the future.
One of my favorite pastors is Charles Stanley, and one of Pastor Stanley’s favorite sayings is to trust God and leave all the consequences to Him. This sounds simple, and although it is simple, it’s easier said than done when you’re dealing with some of life’s most difficult and painful circumstances. This holiday season let us make it a point to give thanks in all things, trust God, and leave all the consequences to Him. Thank God for all that He has done in your life, and you can trust Him through Jesus for what He will continue do in this life and the next.