Aside from the obvious, of course (God commands it – Colossians 3:15), what are the reasons that I should be thankful? You might even be thinking, “I know it’s Thanksgiving, but everything in my life is so frustrating right now, I don’t see much of anything to be thankful for.”

I hear you. I don’t have to try very hard to come up with things I’m not thankful for. I’ve been writing for a year and a half and I’m still not published. My brake warning light came on the other day and now I hear them grinding when I stop (just in time for Christmas). I’m exhausted every day. I need twelve more hours in a day to get all the things done on my list.

Sound familiar? You could probably add even more serious things to your own list.

But here’s the truth that complaints often ignore. Most authors take five years and multiple manuscripts to get their first publishing deal. My car is 14 years old and has NEVER given me serious problems. I have two meaningful jobs and God is providing for my family’s needs. And even though I feel like I don’t have enough time to get everything done, if I was a little less selfish, I’d get a lot more of the important stuff done!

Complaining has a deceptive nature to it, one that’s hard for us to recognize. On the other hand, Thankfulness, especially when vocalized, enlightens people to the truth. That’s what Jesus said in John 11:41a-42 when he was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. ” And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me. And I knew that you hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent me.”

Being thankful is one of the ways we share the Gospel. Because every time we talk about what we’re thankful for, we’re testifying to our relationship with our Heavenly Father, just like Jesus did. And isn’t that the good news? That God pursued a relationship with us to the extreme of sending His own Son to eliminate the one thing (sin) that separated us.

So, today, I am thankful for the most amazing life God could have given me. I’m thankful for my Savior and best friend, Jesus. I’m thankful for my bride, Beverly, the best companion I could have ever hoped for to share this life with. I’m thankful for all my children, who make me laugh, smile, and experience more living than I would without them. I’m thankful for my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, my job, my home, my car, my friends, and my Bible. And probably a heap of other things.

Yes, there are things I could complain about. But isn’t it much more productive to give thanks? Take some time and testify to your relationship with Jesus today by telling someone else what you’re thankful about!