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Another year has sneaked by us and its Thanksgiving season again here in the United States. So it would only be fitting to dedicate this article to giving thanks unto God for all the blessings He has given us this year.

Though sometimes we look at our circumstances and things look bleak, we still have lots to be thankful for. Just look at the news around the world: disasters, wars, famines, disease, earthquakes, floods, etc.

It seems the more I look around me, the more I can thank God. No, everything is not as I would have it. My little corner of the world is not ideal, and no doubt, yours could use some improvement too. But it's time to quit looking at what we don't have, and start looking at what we do have.

While most people look at a half glass of water as half empty, those pesky optimists see it as half full. They always seem to find a silver lining around every storm cloud. Do you suffer from that quirk?

Well actually, I can think of worse things to suffer from—for example, sickness, poverty, rejection, addictions, loneliness, name a few. And another one is "ungratefulness." I think we all suffer from that one from time to time. We tend to take too much for granted.

Recently, I saw a man in a wheelchair with an oxygen bottle that he depended on to breathe and get around. Then I realized how truly blessed I am to be able to walk and breathe freely. There are countless people homeless and if you're one of those people who gripe about having to mow the yard or paint the porch, perhaps you might be happier without having a place to live.

Sunday, on the way home from church, the transmission in my van failed. It was then I realized how often I took for granted having a dependable vehicle to travel in. We never appreciate what we had until it's gone, they say. How true that is!

The Holy Spirit reminded me Sunday to be thankful in all things. How can you be thankful when sickness strikes, or when you lose your job, or when your transmission fails? Well, I don't find in the Bible that it seems to be an option. Let's look at what it says in Ephesians 5:20:
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; And so every word might be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses.
It is also written in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

It would appear to me that God doesn't want us to be whiny or ungrateful, but to appreciate all He does for us.

So, does that mean every time something goes wrong we are to be thankful for it? No, I don't think God wants us to be thankful for what the devil does to us, but to be thankful in it, regardless of whether there be any joy in it or not.

Having a thankful heart is precious to God. When my transmission failed Sunday, I knew how I reacted to that situation would greatly affect my outcome, and boy, did it ever. I wasn't overjoyed about it breaking, but I thanked God for the years of faithful service it gave me.

I thanked Him it hadn't locked up and caused us to wreck. Without a doubt, that wasn't what the devil wanted to hear. We did manage to limp it home, and that was something else I was immensely grateful for.

Do you know what the result of my not losing my peace over that situation was? The Lord told me how to fix the problem. No, I didn't have a $2000 transmission job done. He told me to look back through all the maintenance receipts at what was done when I had had the transmission serviced according to the maintenance schedule.

The first thing I noticed was, that at 197,000 miles, there was no note of the transmission filter ever having been changed. I didn't know that. I had been depending on the dealer to take care of whatever it needed all these years.

The dealer had merely "flushed" the transmission and left the old filter in it. So following the Lord's leading, I drained the fluid and pulled off the pan, cleaned everything, and installed a new filter and fluid. And it works again, praise God!

Now, if I had taken it to the garage, no doubt I would have ended up buying a new transmission, or having that one overhauled. But because I was thankful to God in the situation, He had mercy and told me how to fix it. Had I thrown a fit over it, and got all bent out of shape, no doubt that mercy would not have been there.

So, next time you are faced with an unpleasant situation, don't harp about what you don't have, but rather give thanks to God for what you do have. Number one, you have a wonderful, merciful, heavenly Father who cares more for you than you could possibly know. That alone is worth being outrageously thankfully for.

I don't know about you, but I have a wonderful mate. For that I am very thankful. I have a wonderful Pastor, and friends that care, and that means the world to me. I'm perfectly healthy, and live in a free country. I can drive and not have to walk where I go. Or I can walk when I want to.

When I think of all my blessings, I'm overwhelmed at how good the Lord is to me. How about you? Why not sit down right now and make a list of what you are thankful for. Then dig it back out when you think there isn't much to be thankful for. It will remind you how blessed you truly are.

I hope you have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

Life Healing Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Jerry Baysinger
Web site: Life Healing Ministries
Jerry Baysinger was a twenty-one-and-a-half-year civilian employee of Missouri State Highway Patrol and operator of his own successful furniture repair business, when in 1993, he was diagnosed with five melanomas and liver cancer. Given a month to live, he resigned from the Patrol and went home to die.

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