In the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, Americans are taking the time to think about the things that they are most grateful for in the past year. However, how difficult is it to remain grateful and thank God, in the wake of a tragedy?
Take the situation of the family of Megachurch Pastor Dimitri Bradley. The 51-year-old founder of a church in Virginia was involved in a fatal car crash last Wednesday when he was driving home from church. One of the pastors who remembers him said, “Pastor Dimitri was one of the brightest, most intelligent, and most innovative leaders I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.”
Thanksgiving is this Thursday, but his family is mourning. Pastor Bradley will be laid to rest on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Elsewhere in Minnesota, a plane crashed into powerlines and became entangled and suspended upside down. The powerlines were de-energized before the pilot could be rescued. To everyone’s surprise, the pilot was uninjured. This is the kind of miracle that is easy to go back to during Thanksgiving.
However, Thanksgiving is not just all about the wonderful miracles. Everyone has his or her own share of struggles that makes ‘thanksgiving’ a challenge.
However, we must never forget what Scripture says, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Ephesians 5 also speaks about the subject: “Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 NCV).
Think about what makes Thanksgiving hard for you this week. Are you able to give thanks for your challenges as well as your blessings? This is something that every Christian needs to think about on a daily basis, not just on Thanksgiving.
Everything is in God’s will. We may not understand the reason or the lessons that we will learn, but we must trust that God knows the right path for us, despite the hardships and challenges.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about being depressed and what it tragically can lead to. But there are amazing success stories as well…and here’s one of them. Watch as Dr. Bradley sits down with Pastor Clarence Smith Jr. of Enhance Church in Newark, New Jersey to discuss his victory over depression and how it lead to a vibrant ministry.
Feature Photo: Dmitri Bradley Facebook Page