At the beginning of 2020, none of us could have predicted how this year would unfold. Who could have foreseen a worldwide pandemic that shut down schools and many businesses, confined us all to our homes for a long period of time, and emptied store shelves of toilet paper and cleaning products?
Throw in some major hurricanes, wildfires, protests, and a contentious election season, not to mention the personal ups and downs we’ve all experienced. It’s certainly been a year we’ll talk about for a long time to come.
Yet here we are. It’s Thanksgiving. Maybe the celebration of the season looks different for our families than any other year, or even what we expected a month ago. So can we give thanks in a year that caught us by surprise and delivered more than its share of disappointment and devastation? Yes, yes we can.
Here are eight things we can be thankful for no matter what 2020 has brought us.
1. God is faithful.
“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;” ~Deuteronomy 7:9
Our God still meets our needs and even gives us many of our wants. He has not left us to figure out our way through the mess alone. He is ever present and always acts according to His character.
2. His Word never changes.
We learned a little about change in 2020, didn’t we? Yet what the Bible said on January 1st is still true on November 25th.
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” ~Isaiah 40:8
3. We were able to learn new lessons about God and ourselves in 2020.
We may not have chosen this particular method of instruction, but we learned lessons nonetheless! Perhaps we learned to trust God more or made an effort to reach out to others in new ways. Maybe we developed a positive new habit or grew closer in our family relationships. Even though they’re hard, challenging times can help us mature.
4. We can always find hope in God’s promises.
5. His mercies are new every morning.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” ~Lamentation 3:22-23
We’ve been through some uncertain days, but His mercy hasn’t failed. We don’t know what tomorrow looks like, but He does, and will provide whatever mercy is needed.
6. As Christians, our life here on earth is as bad as it gets for us.
When we know Jesus as our Savior, Heaven is our eternal home. That, my friends, is something to be thankful for!
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” ~John 14:2-3
7. God hears and answers prayer.
Have you prayed more this year than you did before? There have certainly been plenty of things to talk to God about! How wonderful to know that our God hears and answers prayer.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” ~ 1 John 5:14-15
8. God is good.
Do I look back over the past nine months and say they were good? No, not in the sense we think of “good.” There were some good parts, but there were also hard, sad, disappointing, fearful parts.
But because God is good, I can trust that what He’s allowed to happen is part of His overall plan. And because God is incapable of doing anything else, His plan has to be good.
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” ~Psalm 145:17
As we turn our hearts toward gratitude this Thanksgiving, let’s realize that no matter how crazy this year has been, we have much to be thankful for!