The Bible talks about giving thanks not only in the good times, but also the tough times, but how does one exactly do that? It sure isn’t easy!
Imagine getting fired from your job, axed, terminated, for poor performance, only to turn around and THANK your employer! That’s exactly what (now former) Nebraska football coach Mike Riley recently did. After a disappointing season cost him his job, Riley turned around and publicly, as well as in a written statement, expressed gratitude. Here’s Riley:
“I’m going to remain and believe in being thankful. I am very thankful for the people I’ve met in this program and in this state. Most of all I’m thankful for this team… It’s like that old song, I could’ve missed the pain but I would’ve missed the dance”.
I Thessalonians 5:18 talks about gratitude even in the midst of hardship: “Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus”. As Christians, I believe we are uniquely positioned to do this, and here’s why: you and I have an unmovable identity in Jesus Christ. It will never “perish, spoil, or fade” (I Peter 1:4) and it can never be taken from us. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100), so we are ultimately, and eternally, cared for. He works all things for our good (Romans 8:28), and so we choose an “attitude of gratitude”.
Thanks Riley, and I Thessalonians, for showing us the way!