That Joy Greater Than Thanksgiving Itself

That Joy Greater Than Thanksgiving Itself.png

If you’re American, you are probably aware that Thanksgiving is coming up in two days.

 

And if you’re not American, you are also probably aware that Thanksgiving is coming up in two days.

 

It’s kind of a big deal around this whole country, filled with ludicrous amounts of food, televised parades, extended family you might not have seen for quite a long time, stacks of Black Friday fliers, and those Thankfulness Lists that somehow make their way to the table every. single. year. without. fail.

 

I used to love Thanksgiving, but somewhere along the line, it just got to be cliché in my mind.

Continue reading “That Joy Greater Than Thanksgiving Itself”

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Thankfulness For a Change, Anyone?

Thankfulness For a Change, Anyone? 

I’ve had a crazy few days, so this post will be short. But in honor of Thanksgiving coming this week, I wanted to write something about being thankful. Happy early Thanksgiving, everyone.

 

It’s five days until Thanksgiving. The day we gorge ourselves on turkey, stuffing (rightfully named), potatoes, squash, veggies, and pie.

 

(And then we go shopping at midnight or after to get the best deals on more stuff. Seriously, America? We’ve gotten our fill of thankfulness for the year and then we go shopping wherein we pepper-spray people over xbox?)

 

Please excuse me for being cliché here, but we often forget about being thankful.

 

For crying out loud, people have nicknamed Thanksgiving “Turkey Day.” WHAT. The thankfulness is gone.

 

Every day, I’m realizing something more and more.

 

Thankfulness isn’t a switch. We shouldn’t turn it on when we feel like it, and off the rest of the time. Even I am guilty of this.

 

I will say that it’s linked to joy. (Check out my joy posts here and here.) Thankfulness, like joy, should not be circumstantial.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

 

I mean, when things are tough and life is hard, it seems so difficult to be thankful.

 

Here’s some encouraging news.

 

  • We have so much to be thankful for, even if not materially.

 

Our salvation, for starters. When put into perspective, it’s kind of amazing what Jesus has done for us.

 

  • God always has a plan.

 

I’m not going to fluff everything up and say that it’s all great all the time. I promise it’s not. Life is hard and non-glamourous. But all the hard things we go through are an opportunity for God to work, which is ultimately the best thing.

 

And you know what else?

 

  • Our thankfulness is praise to God.

 

  • Our thankfulness should not depend on our “feeling thankful” or “feeling blessed,” but because God is always good.

 

Psalm 7:17

“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.”

 

This year, I encourage you to give thanks. Not just when things go well, or just on Thanksgiving, but every day.

 

Thank you God for your love.

 

Thank you God for giving me this life.

 

Thank you God for giving me opportunities to live for you in freedom.

 

Thank you God for always having a plan, even when I can’t see it.

 

Thank you God for never leaving me on my own when life gets tough.

 

*aj

Do I Really Trust? Let’s Find Out…

Do I Really Trust Let's Find Out...

This blog is titled Scattered Journal Pages for a reason, and it’s time I use the theme more than I do.

These are my contemplations, and the equivalent of what I would write (sort of) in my journal. My contemplations. Things I’m feeling, and learning, and growing from.

Yesterday (Monday) was a miserable day for me.

Actually, it really wasn’t miserable, but I was miserable. My attitude. My feelings. My outlook. And yes, a few days before, I had just written about not forgetting my joy.

I felt like a hypocrite, I really did. This girl who claims that joy lasts is not living with a joyful spirit.

And I mean, that totally happens. Sometimes we just succumb to our dark circumstances and make ourselves see only bitter dark tunnels with no end.

Some things have happened that have weighed on me emotionally, and I let that become the end.

Some people say they ‘can’t feel,’ but for me, it felt like I was just feeling so much. And for my future, I’m scared.

I have to do my own invented version of self-analysis when I feel this way.

Why am I so down?

I’m down because I’m scared to death.

Why am I so scared?

Because I have no idea what’s coming in the future.

Do I trust God?

Of course I trust God. Don’t I?

Do I trust that God’s plan is best, even when I can’t see it?

Well, I know it is.

 

Yes, but do I really trust? Do I trust that He will bring me through everything that happens to accomplish His plan?

Yes…I think so.

 

Do I trust that even if He doesn’t bring me through, that it’s for the best?

I don’t know. I should. Because I know it is. So, yes.

 

Then why am I still afraid?

Because…what if things never get better? What if my life stays just like this forever? What if I’m hopelessly lost for the rest of my life?

 

Should that really be my concern, though? Okay, let’s say things never get better. Say I have to live with my circumstances how they are long-term. Do I still trust that God’s way is perfect? Do I still believe that God has my life under control, that what happens happens, and that He will never leave me or forsake me?

*thinks for a long while* Yes, I do trust.

The light is what we make of it.

I told myself I was fumbling around in darkness. I told myself I had to be miserable. I told myself I was in a tunnel without and end. I told myself that there was no light.

 

But those are lies.

 

I forgot (temporarily) what the Bible says.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

I wasn’t giving thanks and living with what God had given me. But now I am.

2 Samuel 22:31

“This God—his way is perfect;

the word of the Lord proves true;

he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”

I wasn’t trusting that as hard as God’s plan may be, that it is the best. Now I am.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I wasn’t trusting that God’s plans for me were for my welfare, future, or hope. But now I realize that they are.

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I was basing my fear of insecurity off of my perception of what was going on. Instead, I’ve refocused. I’ve realized that things may look like they’re impossible, but God has a plan through it all. That His ways are far better than mine.

The verses speak for themselves.

I want to encourage all of you today, don’t give up on trusting God.

Don’t give in to the lies that hold you captive.

Never lose hope that God’s ways are best, and whatever happens is for your good and His glory.

And please remind me of all of this when I feel like I’m in the dark!

*aj