Now that it is November, we have entered the season of Thanksgiving. Everywhere you look there are commercials, articles, and even blog posts on how to be more grateful.
(Yep, I see the irony.)
Learning to be grateful can mean looking around and counting your blessings. It can mean choosing to look for the good in every situation. And those are great habits to get into.
But I also think it would help us if we went back to the basics.
I think what we need most in order to feel grateful is to remember that WE ARE LOVED.
But before you can remember you are loved; you need to remember why you don’t deserve to be loved. You don’t deserve to be loved because of your sin.
Yeah, I know. Thinking about your sin is never fun. But it is necessary. Stop and think about how painful it is when someone hurts you, betrays you, or rejects you. And then remember that you have done that to God. You have hurt him with all the lies you have ever told. With all the times you chose to do something you knew was not right. With all the sins you have committed that you wouldn’t want to admit out loud.
And yet God doesn’t hold your sin against you.
He offers to completely forgive you and remove your sin from you as far as the east is from the west. And then on top of that, He says he remembers it no more.
I don’t know about you, but I find that while I can forgive someone, it is awfully hard to forget what they did to me.
But God does.
He forgives you, forgets your sin, and chooses to still LOVE YOU despite everything you have ever done wrong! That is a great reason to be thankful!
Take a moment and really think about it. Let these truths sink into your heart and revitalize your soul.
You are loved by the Lord of the Universe who is big enough to hold entire galaxies in place, and yet cares about even the smallest details like the designs on a snowflake.
You are loved by a Savior who stepped away from perfection, unending peace, and unlimited joy so that he could rescue you. He walked through this broken world and suffered from all the daily aches and pains that we do. He felt hunger, thirst, and loneliness. He suffered from stomach aches, colds, and all the discomforts of having a human body. He endured rejection from his friends and public ridicule. He had all the power and authority of Heaven and Earth at his disposal. And He could have ended all of his suffering at any moment. But He didn’t.
Because He loves you.
He knew that there were two choices. He either had to let you die, or He had to die.
If He let you die, then He would never know the pain and suffering of this broken world. He would never know the tremendous torture of the cross. But He would also lose you. For eternity.
And He couldn’t live with that, so He chose to die. He chose to use His strength and power to submit to God’s will. He chose to endure every painful, agonizing moment on Earth for you.
Jesus had a choice. And He chose you.
As my pastor likes to say,
“You are more sinful, flawed, and messed up than you ever thought possible . . . And yet you are more loved, cherished, and valued than you ever dared to dream.”
That is an amazing reason to be thankful. YOU ARE LOVED.