How to be Thankful in the Darkness

How to be Thankful in the Darkness
How do you express gratitude when you are in your darkest place, when you don’t feel it, when you haven’t seen the answer, and when nothing looks good right now?
There is so much heaviness in the world, but thankfulness is one of the best things we can do to transition our emotions out of fear, worry, and heaviness.
 But don’t you need to feel thankful to express it?
 This topic reminds me of Jonah when he had just been thrown into the ocean and then been swallowed by a fish and was sitting there in the stinky grossness of fish goo and darkness. 
He had less reason to be thankful than almost anyone. He had been sent to a group of people he truly hated to tell them to repent. So he ran! He totally rebelled against God and was walking in the consequences of that.
 But even amid the stinky, slimy, goo, he still said, “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay, salvation is from the Lord.” ~ Jonah 2:9
 Immediately after this, God commanded the fish to spit him out on the land.
His sacrifice of thanksgiving brought about a changed, repentant heart that set him free to be released from the darkness.
 The Hebrew word thankful here is “Todah” which is a form of thanksgiving we give as a sacrifice when we are not seeing God’s hand.  It is a different word than Yadah, which is the thanksgiving we give in response to seeing God’s goodness.
 Yadah means to hold out your extended hand in worship, thanksgiving, and praise in response to what God has done. It is seeing His hand reaching to you, and you throw your hands back out to grab His in exchange.
Todah means we give thanks before we see the answer, when we trust He will do a miracle, but we haven’t experienced it yet. It is like offering to raise your hands in a sacrifice of praise and adoration when you don’t see a hand reaching to you.
That’s the answer, it is a sacrifice, a choice that you make. It is making a choice to not rely on feelings or what you can see with your eyes, and instead you rely on your faith and trust that He is more than capable of finding you wherever your dark place is.
 This week, as you prepare for Thanksgiving, it is a good time to learn how to make every day an opportunity to be grateful no matter how you feel, no matter what you experience, knowing that the KING of KINGS loves you with an everlasting love and He can see you no matter where you are, and HE cares! 

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