Around the time of the Thanksgiving holiday, we are reminded of how richly we have been blessed by God. James tells us, "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow" (James 1:17). Of course, we should be "always giving thanks" (Eph. 5:20), not just during this time of year. But the holiday serves as a good reminder for us.
Sometimes though we are tempted to think negatively of our situation despite God's abundant blessings. It is easy to look at others around us who have more of this world's goods and who don't seem to have to struggle as we sometimes do in order to make ends meet. If we allow it, bitterness can creep in and we will end up miserable. But if we put away covetousness and are truly thankful for what God has given us, it will be easier to see how blessed we are.
But holidays can also be a time of sadness for those who have endured some great loss, such as the death of a loved one or some financial tragedy. How should we react when some of our greatest blessings are lost or we are not being blessed as others are?
Consider the example of Job. In a short time his family and great wealth were taken away (Job. 1:13-19). Did he blame God? Did he become depressed and say that life was not fair? No. Notice what he did immediately after hearing the reports of his catastrophic loss:
"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job. 1:20-21).
Job recognized that God was in control. He blesses us according to His will. He knows what is best for us (cf. Mt. 6:8). We must simply trust in Him.
You may, at this time or other times, be suffering great hardship and loss. You could certainly look to others who are more prosperous than you are. But in any of these circumstances, we can still see how God has blessed us if we are willing to recognize it. Throughout our lives, whether times are good or bad, let us be truly thankful to the Lord for the good things He has given and praise His name.