The American holiday of Thanksgiving is a perfect time for us to pause and give thanks to our God who has blessed us with so much. The scriptures tell us, “…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1Thess 5:18). So many people struggle to find the will of God, but in reality, it all begins with giving thanks.

A few years ago I made my first trip to Rwanda, a nation that had experienced genocide when 800,000 people were killed within three months by members of another tribe. I was humbled when I met family members who had lost their brothers and sisters and parents, but had chosen to give thanks in the midst of their pain. They then went into the prisons to minister forgiveness and the love of Christ to those who had slaughtered their loved ones only a few years earlier. During this season of great loss, God gave them grace to forgive and to live a life of thankfulness for the little they had, causing them to fulfill the will of God right before my eyes. I was undone. I purposed in my heart that I want to follow their example of giving thanks, and never complain again.

Regardless of our present circumstances, let’s follow the example of our Rwandan brothers and sisters in Christ, and give thanks for every blessing we have received. Then we will find ourselves doing the will of God, because being thankful opens the door for Him to show us our next steps.