Thankfulness on the Battlefield

1 Thessalonians states, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

During my seventeen years of military service, I have been in a lot of situations that were not fun. I endured the unpleasantness of boot camp. I have been to Afghanistan twice and suffered the blistering dry heat and other stresses that come from a combat deployment. I have done field training in the snow. I have worked insanely long hours, and I have been away from home for extended periods more times than I can recall.

Yet even with all of these hardships and unpleasant experiences, I am extremely thankful to serve in the
military. The Lord has blessed me immensely. I have an excellent job that I love. Even when times are tough, I need to be on my knees thanking the Lord for blessing me with this occupation.

Life is hard. We suffer from unfairness, broken promises, broken hearts, and other unfortunate occurrences. For those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ’s gift of eternal life, we have an everlasting hope to sustain us and keep us thankful. No matter how hard life is and how rough the struggle, we know we have heaven waiting for us.

It says in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

For those of us who love God and believe in Jesus Christ, we have something to keep us eternally thankful. Life is tough. God knows this. Jesus, the son of God, with his limitless power suffered betrayal by his friends, people spitting on him and hitting him, flogging by the Romans, and ultimately the agonizing death of crucifixion. He knows pain. He has felt it. When we cry out to God, we can take comfort knowing that he knows, understands, and has experienced human pain.

God loves us. Even when it is hard to be thankful, take comfort in your salvation. Be thankful for the gift of heaven waiting for you. Keep this close to your heart so you can enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; giving thanks to God and praising his name (Psalms 100:4).

Joshua Bixler is a Christian, husband, father, and a Sunday School teacher for 5th grade boys.  He is a veteran of two combat deployments to Afghanistan, and loves military history.  He and his wife create tabletop RPG gaming products for their publishing label Bix Six Adventures on the DriveThruRPG website.

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