I've always enjoyed getting together with family for Thanksgiving, but to be honest, I'm dreading it this year. It's been a tough year for me and I don't have any reason to be thankful. I'll put on a happy face and act like I'm glad we're together, but down inside I'll hate myself for being a hypocrite. Have you ever felt this way? — J.McF.
I'm sure we've all gotten involved in things we didn't want to do, but sometimes it's better to do them anyway -- not for our sake so much as for the sake of others. This isn't necessarily hypocrisy; it may simply be thoughtfulness.
At the same time, I hope you'll take time this Thanksgiving to think of at least five things for which you should be thankful. For example, many people don't have any family to share Thanksgiving with -- but you do. Others struggle with bad health and can't join in their family's celebration -- but you can. Still others are homeless or destitute this Thanksgiving -- but you aren't.
You see, when things go wrong in our lives we always tend to focus on what we've lost, instead of being grateful for what we still have. But even in hard times God blesses us far beyond what we deserve, and our hearts should be full of thanksgiving for every blessing He gives us. The Bible reminds us that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father" (James 1:17). A thankful heart is a joyful heart.
Most of all, thank God today (and every day) for Jesus Christ, who gave His life for our salvation. Is He part of your life? If not, let this become the greatest Thanksgiving you've ever had, by asking Him to come into your life as your Savior and Lord.