In the month of November, I did the popular Facebook thing of posting something each day (or in my case some days) of something that I am grateful for. Like most of us, I am thankful for these things in months other than November but it got me thinking about gratitude in general.
I see gratitude in my life being divided into two different categories - 1) the never changing and 2) the ever changing
1) The never changing
Along with Jesus there is God the Father, the Spirit, the promise of salvation for those that believe, His Word and His many promises. These things will NEVER CHANGE. No matter my circumstances in my life and no matter the Enemy, nothing can take these things away from me. And for that I am grateful in a way that words can not even begin to express. My heart overflows. When the Bible commands us to "in everything give thanks".. this is it people.. this is everything. It defines my purpose for living and I give the Lord thanks for it. Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
2) Ever changing
I am thankful for my husband, my kids, my extended family, my friends, my church, homeschooling, employment, a roof over my head, good health, food..the list goes on and on. I don't want to be non-thankful for these things because I am extremely thankful. But I want to recognize that these things are on a revolving door in this crazy thing called life. They are going to ebb and flow. Sometimes we are going to have them and sometimes we are going to not have them. Our list is going to look different from year to year as our circumstances change. But nothing on this list is going to change God or the character of God or the promises that He has given us as you can see..nothing I listed is promised from God.
We will always have things to be thankful for because list #1 is never changing. Pastor Saeed Abedini who is an American pastor imprisoned in Iran wrote a beautiful letter to his daughter on her 8th birthday and one of the very first lines says "I praise God for His faithfulness to me every day." Even in an Iranian prison, you can see expressions of gratitude.
So I encourage all of us in this season of gratitude to never give up hope in our circumstances, look to the cross and find Jesus and be thankful. Be thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ and His faithfulness whether you are in a cozy East Cobb home or an Iranian prison.. both of us can look to Jesus and live our lives with an expression of gratitude for his never changing love for us.
Pastor Saeed's letter to his daughter - http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/pastor-saeeds-letter-to-his-daughter-rebekka/ I highly encourage you to take the time to read this. His faith is an amazing example to us.