Some friends invited me to their apartment for Thanksgiving this year, but I refused. I've had a miserable year -- death of my husband, financial problems, sickness. It would be hypocritical for me to say I'm thankful. You'll probably disagree, but can you understand why I feel this way?


Yes, I can understand your feelings, but most of all, I want to assure you that God knows what you’ve been going through and understands why you feel this way. The Bible says, “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).

When bad things happen to us, it’s not easy to be thankful for them — or for anything else, for that matter. But as millions across our country gather today to celebrate Thanksgiving, my prayer is that this Thanksgiving will mark a new beginning in your life. Yes, God understands how you feel, but He loves you and wants to help you overcome these feelings and give you hope for the future.

And He will do this, as you turn to Him and ask Christ to come into your life. We’re never alone when we know Christ, and even in life’s darkest moments He never abandons us. Jesus’ invitation is for you: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Take time today to list the good things that are still a part of your life — and then thank God for them. Thank Him, too, for Jesus Christ, and ask Him to help you trust your life and your future into His hands. As a footnote, in the next few days thank your friends for their invitation, and let them know you value their friendship.

Watch Billy Graham TV Classics