(Photo by Selma Komisky)
His Bounty in My Life
By Brittney Perez
As we head towards the end of the year with the holidays fast approaching, I’m sure many of us feel a sense of relief with the expectation of 2020 soon behind us. As November approaches during a time when many give thanks and ponder what they are grateful for, this year may feel a bit tough. For many, this has been the worst year. For some, this has maybe been not the worst, but definitely not the best. For others, it was just another year with obstacles, but life is full of obstacles.
Regardless of how you feel about 2020, there is always a reason to give thanks. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) we read: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We are told to give thanks in ALL circumstances. That’s tough! Some circumstances, like the ones we were given this year, aren’t pleasant. Yet we are told even in those hard moments to “give thanks.”
I think about Paul the apostle when he said in Philippians, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13, NIV).
Wow. As I read that passage, I am amazed of the ability and self-control Paul had to say those words in confidence. If you read about him in the Bible, he went through some tough times. What about us? After all we’ve been through this year can we, like Paul, say that we have learned to be content WHATEVER the circumstances? Can we even say we are thankful?
Even in the midst of unforeseen and unpleasant times, God is still at work. One of the things I can honestly say I’m grateful for this year is God’s revealing and refining. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been pretty tough at times, but I see that it is for my good. I remember before COVID-19, I had asked the Lord to refine me. Little did I know that a month later, all these things would occur.
During the times I was mainly alone, it was tough. However, that’s when I saw the Lord really begin to refine me. He answered so many prayers, revealed things that was tough to take in, and set me on the path of a new course. Even in the middle of the revealing and refining, God was gentle. Imagine a father comforting a child. That was my God to me. Although it was hard, I felt God’s comforting hand. If the circumstances from this year didn’t happen, I really don’t know if I would’ve been made more aware of God’s revealing and refining. I’m wildly grateful that God reveals and refines; it makes us better in the long run if we choose to yield to Him. I’m also thankful that during this crazy year He did some pretty sweet things in my life.
Whatever the circumstances this year may have given us, we should take comfort in knowing that God’s purposes are always for our good even if it doesn’t seem like it. God is still present and working in our lives. In Psalm 13:6 (NKJV) it says, “I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me.” I like the word bountifully. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it means abundantly, graciously, and with favor. The Lord has dealt bountifully with me this year even amidst the chaos. How has the Lord dealt bountifully with you this year?
At this time of the year, many of us are thinking about thankfulness and gratitude. We ponder how the Lord has been gracious to us and how we have seen His hand moving during this difficult year. Even if you only think of the smallest thing, that is still something to give Him thanks for. I know I am thankful for the revealing and refining and for His bounty in my life!
Let us give thanks to God through all the circumstances.