Follow Us

Thankfulness: the antidote to pessimism

We live in a season of falling expectations. We doubt that our future will be as good as our past. Unemployment is persistently high. We know we’ve splurged on debt and know we’ll have to cut back to unwind it. Faith in political and religious institutions is low. The news we read each day discou…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
We live in a season of falling expectations. We doubt that our future will be as good as our past. Unemployment is persistently high. We know we’ve splurged on debt and know we’ll have to cut back to unwind it. Faith in political and religious institutions is low. The news we read each day discourages us.
A cloud of pessimism seems to hang over our nation. And the very institutions in which we have lost faith have a vested interest in keeping us under it. National media trumpets the failure of our leaders. Local media trumpets the latest violence in our neighborhoods.
The irony is, it’s all relative. The irony is, we have so much to be thankful for.
How appropriate that we have a holiday especially devoted to helping us get perspective.
Here’s my short list of big things I’m thankful for:
  • My faith
  • My family
  • My home
  • A chance to make a difference
Or some smaller things:
  • Asha is cozily curled up on my lap.
  • I’ve got four days with family coming up.
  • Karen’s great cooking to look forward to.
  • A friend’s email encouraged me.
We don’t have to give in to the drumbeat of pessimism.  Turn off the TV. Shut down those negative thoughts. Practice 1 Thess. 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” You’ll feel better and so will those around you.
What things, big or small are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Comments (8)

  • Big things:
    The love of my life.
    Our good health
    And certainly not least, the comfort and Blessings of the Lord.

    Little things:
    Distant located family members gathering together for Thanksgiving
    Tis a wonderful, beautiful day
    The four legged furry family members are all around, demanding my attention. 🙂
    Our yard abounds with wildlife, birds of all types, foxes, and deer, they are also family and gifts from our Lord.

  • BIG THINGS- Bible in my language, My Mrs, Our boys, Our Call, the internet here in Yei, a working cell phone here in Yei, electric power in Yei, Seth Barnes there in GA(giving “covering” LOL:)

    “small things”- This floss, my per of glasses, this soft tissue paper… inserticide, mosquito net…

    “I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him, …Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them.” (1Tim 1:12,15)

  • Big things: Same as listed above, but God, family, friends, (support of both), safety, and freedom I grew up with that many around me right now do not have.

    Little things: finding tomatoes and a watermelon in an otherwise almost produce-less market today!

  • Thanks for this post, it’s so timely for Thanks giving , Christmas and New Year!

    My big thing is:

    I am so thankful that my parents gave me the gift of Religion…that is CHRISTIANITY! That’s the biggest thing I have in my life and I passed it on to my children and I will make sure they will appreciate it as a gift, that they will pass it on to their children too!

    Yes, you are right Seth, being grateful all the time allows us to have all the positive thoughts which enables us to do all good acts!

  • I am thankful for the unshakable love of the Father. There is no shadow of turning with Him. And I love He allows us to make our way to heaven with people who are real. Love you Seth…

  • I’m thankful for a safe trip home, that my family is well and I get to spend Thanksgiving with them, for warmer weather and the layer of multi-colored leaves covering the ground, for God’s faithfulness despite my sometimes faithlessness, for the purring cat that helped put me to sleep last night, and that I get to spend tomorrow in the kitchen with my mother learning the family recipes… and so many other reasons to be thankful. . .

  • Well Seth Barnes I have recieved your posts for probably for a yr…I have never really read them until recently and I just wanted to Thankyou for the time you take daily to challenge us and to be encourageing..I have not made a thankful list but daily I try with the Lords help to keep my thoughts toward him and to be content with what he has blessed my family and I with…keeping an attitude of gratitude daily..Renewing my mind.

  • My Thankful List, written in November, 2007:

    I’m thankful that I experienced major loss at an early age, because I learned young that life is a series of losses, and it’s what you do with them that matters.

    I’m thankful that I had a mother who didn’t embrace her role and never fit inside it, because it planted an intense desire in me to become a mother, and a passionate one, at that.

    I’m thankful that for years at a time I have been alone, adrift, and loveless, because now I see that same loneliness and lovelessness in the faces of others and, from a deep part of me, I care.

    I’m thankful that all my idols and obsessions failed me and came crashing from their pedestals, because I discovered the One and Only One who fulfills my expectations and doesn’t stop there but goes – wildly – above and beyond them.

    I’m thankful that I have faced illness and pain of every size, shape and description, because now my joy in living is like a jasper that catches the vibrancy of every moment.

    I’m thankful that I wandered 40 years in the “wilderness” because my arrival in the “promised land” is:
    Sweet as the taste of chestnut mousse on the Isle of Capri,
    Refreshing as a summer cloudburst in the Rocky Mountains,
    Clear as the sound of sheep bells in the high Austrian meadow,
    Breathtaking as a dusty-rose sunset over the Oregon coast.

    Much love,

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Radical Living:

Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

© Adventures In Missions. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | RSS Feed | Sitemap