Every Thanksgiving season we hear a lot about thankfulness. And it’s only appropriate that we express our thanks to others for all they do for us throughout the year. But can we be thankful every day? When we wake up in the morning and our throat hurts because of the flu, or the weather is bad and our car is stuck in the snow? Or worse, you get beaten and thrown into jail for no good reason. The last thought to come to your mind would be thankfulness.
But the Bible tells us that this is what happened to Paul and his friend Silas. They were accused of “advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice” (Acts 16: 10) and were brought before the magistrates who ordered that they be beaten and imprisoned. Paul and Silas did not become bitter or angry. Instead, they prayed and sang praises to God, and something amazing happened. “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (v 26).
Everyone’s chains, not just Paul’s and Silas’s. When the jailer saw the prison doors open, he became so afraid he drew his sword to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped, but Paul reassured him that they were all there. This act of thankfulness and praise benefited not just Paul and Silas but those around them. The jailer and his family were all saved and got baptized that very night.
It’s difficult to be thankful when the odds are stacked against you, but if you practice an attitude of thankfulness, it would become automatic. However, in order to do this, you need faith. Faith to know that God is in control no matter how dim things may appear. Know that He will come through for you in His way and His time.
So, let the spirit of Thanksgiving follow you throughout the remainder of this year and into the next. In Colossians 3: 15, Paul writes, ” Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Want peace this holiday season? Be thankful! Happy Thanksgiving!
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