The First Thursday in November

by Sharman J. Monroe

The fourth Thursday in the month of November is set aside as Thanksgiving Day. It’s a national holiday in the U.S. A time for family and friends to gather together to laugh, catch-up, watch football games and eat foods they’ve been waiting to eat all year to eat (like stuffing!) Gratitude is everywhere.

This year as I wait for my meal, I’m pondering a thought one of my business partners dropped on me – be grateful for the difficulties you go through in life. None of us, including me, like the difficulties of life. They always come at the wrong place and time. They cause untold stress. We loose sleep, get angry, feel fear, get upset, worry, doubt, feel hopeless, cry, envy others and go into hiding. We may get physically ill.  While these difficulties come at unexpected times, they shouldn’t be a surprise to us. Jesus prepped us for them when He said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV).

In life, we are to live with our focus on God making Him a priority. (Matthew 6:33). When we focus on God during difficult times, they don’t destroy us. In fact, it’s quite the contrary; something good happens to us in difficult times. We find out new things about ourselves. Our dormant skills and talents awakened. We learn new skills. Our character grows. We become stronger and more confident in who we are as a person. We come through the difficulty a better person than the person we were at the beginning of the difficulty. In the words of the apostle James:

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].  And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him. James 1:2-5 (AMP)

In summary, the difficulties of life are necessary for your growth into the person God means for you to be.  So don’t hate, appreciate!

As you spend time with your family and friends, eating, laughing and watching ballgames, spend be grateful for EVERYTHING, the good and the difficult, in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!



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