3 Ways to Be Thankful When Your Thanksgiving is Terrible

3 Ways to Be Thankful When Your Thanksgiving is Terrible

The holidays can be a struggle for some people. Anxiety and depression run rampant during the festive months and the hectic schedules certainly don’t help in keeping our sanity. The holidays can get especially tough when those who were seated around the table last year are joining you this year. 

I personally get pretty grumpy during the holiday season and I struggle to stay thankful even during the week when we as a nation celebrate Thanksgiving.

Now 2016 hasn’t been very kind to me and my family. It has been a tumultuous year so far. So I have found it especially difficult to be thankful. 

So this is my confession…I need help being thankful during Thanksgiving. 

My Confession: I'm an Ingrate

Confession is a wonderful thing, but admitting to yourself and to the world that you are a grumpy and ungrateful holiday hermit crab is not the easiest thing to do. 

But alas that is where I am. I have been brought to the point where I must admit I have been much more thankLESS than thankFULL this year. 

Too many stressful situations and a gradual loss of hope will do that to you, I guess. 
But confession IS one of the most important things you can do as a Christian - admit to your sins, repent, and keep following Jesus. 

So my confession is this: I have let my circumstance dictate my emotions and my faith. 

Not good. 

Confession alone isn’t enough - you can admit your wrong and still do the same stuff over and over and get absolutely nowhere, right? 

So confession has to be tied to a change in what we do and how we think. 

I need to short-circuit my thankless  feelings and ungratefulness. The best way to do that is to purposefully be thankful. 

So what can you and I be thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Thanklessness happens when we forget our blessings and what the Word of God has told us. 
Thankfulness happens when we remember: Here are three things to remember to help you be thankful - especially during a terrible Thanksgiving.

Remember the Good Times

What is your happiest memory? When was the last time you laughed so hard tears came to your eyes? We all have good times to be thankful for. The may seem dim and distant in the darkness of your current depression, but search for them and force yourself to remember and be thankful for them. 

Remembering the good times is especially helpful in easing the pain of loss. Our table this year will be filled with stories of my uncle who didn't make it to this year's celebration. I will watch the Dallas Cowboys and remember all the time we tuned in together after the turkey hangover. It will bring a smile to my face.

Remember the Promise

We are currently preparing for next year by studying the book of Lamentations and this is one depressing book! The life of the author and the people of Israel is in bad shape! But in the middle of recounting all the pain and anguish the prophet drops this word:

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
— Lamentations 3:21-23

He believed in the promise of God’s steadfast and enduring love and he chose to focus on that despite the current circumstances. And they were some really bad circumstances! Women were eating their children, all the men are slaves, and worst of all it seems that their God has plugged his ears and refused to listen to their cries. 

Still, the prophet holds tight to the promise that God will not stay silent forever. He will act with compassion. What a great thought to be thankful for! In the darkest of days, we know that God's steadfast love and mercy will not come to an end.

Remember the Savior

If we say we have no reason to be thankful then we have forgotten that we have a Savior. Our soul should leap within us when we consider that in God’s infinite love and mercy was provided for us. A Savior was given to rescue us from the consequences of sin! 

No matter how terrible our current situation is we still have hope because we still have a Savior. 
This makes me very thankful. We no longer are slaves to the sin that drags us down! We are given life and life itself more abundantly. 

Remembering is not always a bad thing - it all depends on what you choose to focus on with the power of your memory. 

Now is the time for you to help me out: 

How do you stay thankful during difficult times? 

Let me know in the comment section below. 

About the Author | Josh Schaidt TwitterFacebookInstagram
I love cookies and I still buy music one album at a time. @EmptyChurch is one way I live empty, talk faith, and opt in to follow Jesus.

Faith and Family
An ongoing discussion about growing up, passing on, and the ties that bind us together. Following Jesus is a family affair — no matter who you call your family.

As Seen on Sunday: His Love Endures Forever

As Seen on Sunday: His Love Endures Forever

A New Kingdom with a New King - Special Guest: Doug Black Jr.

A New Kingdom with a New King - Special Guest: Doug Black Jr.