Great AND Good

Sometimes it seems there is just little to be thankful for. When our loved ones living with mental health difficulties are going through a rough episode, when a change in treatment has caused an upheaval, when we run out of ideas on where to find help next, it’s often impossible to be grateful.

That’s when we turn our attention from our circumstances and look at our God who is great and our God who is good. 

Perhaps, like me, that was the first prayer you learned: “God is great and God is good and so we thank him for our food.” So much faith and theology are packed in those few words! Think about it: If God were great (mighty, powerful, omniscient) but not good (loving, kind, generous) how could we ever muster the nerve to trust Him? On the other hand, if He were good but not great, how could He actually do anything to address our needs?

But our God is both great and good, which takes us to the natural response captured in our childhood prayer: God is great and God is good, so (therefore, and because He is) we THANK Him. Full stop. Yes, we can thank Him for food and for other stuff, but how much deeper is the gratitude that thanks Him for who He is!

When we can’t give thanks for the things happening in our lives, we give thanks to the God who shows His greatness and goodness in our lives.

At our Thanksgiving meals this year, let’s not stop with just thanks for our food. 

Let’s bring praises to God for:

  • His unfailing love. It’s the kind of love that isn’t capricious or conditional. Instead it is love that never gives up, never fails and is always present.
  • His unwavering faithfulness. The God who has answered prayers in the past is the same God who will attend to your needs now.
  • His almighty power. God can accomplish all He desires to do.
  • His gracious forgiveness. It’s more than accepting the fact of our failures; through Christ, His forgiveness restores and redeems.
  • His ever-present comfort. This is our God who extends new mercies every new day.
  • His surrounding peace. It is always there; we just need to walk in it.

The holidays may bring upheaval for our loved ones and for us. Our circumstances may be dismal. But as we adopt a posture of thanks for our great and good God, we can find hope and peace, and maybe even a slice of joy.

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