DEAR REV. GRAHAM: It's been a very hard year for us because of the economic downturn, and to be honest, it would be hypocritical of us to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. When you don't have anything to be thankful for, how can you claim to be celebrating it without being a liar? —R.R.
Dear R.R.: Can you think of anything — anything at all — for which you can be thankful? Your health? Your family? Your freedoms in this nation? Even something small that you might not normally think of? Take a blank sheet of paper and write down everything you can — and I think you'll be surprised how many good things you'll recall.
Yes, your problems are real, and I'm not asking you to pretend they aren't. But take a moment to realize what has happened: You have let your problems block out everything else in your life — including many things for which you should be thankful. You are like the man who put his hand in front of his eyes, and then claimed the world had disappeared!
This Thanksgiving, ask God to help you set aside the bad things that have happened this year, and focus instead on the good things He's given you. The Bible says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
But let me challenge you also to discover an even greater reason for you to be thankful — and that is the gift of salvation God offers you in His Son. When we know Christ, we have hope — hope for our lives today, and hope for eternity. Let this be the greatest Thanksgiving you have ever celebrated, by turning to Jesus Christ and inviting Him into your life today.