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As we celebrate the day that we make inventory of our positive experiences throughout the year, remember that each event that comes into our lives, regardless of the form itis wrapped, is a lesson that, once learned, will benefit us;  therefore, something for which we also must be thankful. The Apostle Paul said, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 6-7. We must - and it is possible - find something to thank God for even when we feel we are facing adversity. The suggestion of the Apostle is that we present our petition to God, including what we wish the outcome to be, but to tell Him also that although that is what we want, it is even more important that His Will be done.  We should do this while thanking Him for what He has done and will continue to do in our lives; because we know that His Will always bring us peace.

There is no hypocrisy involved in praying in those terms.  It means, rather, that we have faith in His word and His promises, and that His peace, which surpasses all understanding, like a sweet stillness, will overflow our being, and we will feel His strong and loving arms protecting us.  And if we are experiencing His love, peace and joy, what could we be lacking?  We could laugh at adversity, could we not? The guarantee we have of God’s love is that God is not in our hearts, but we are in the heart of God, and our guarantee is that He does not change. Therefore, nothing in the present or in the future can separate us from His love. We are in the hands of a loving God, who always hears our prayers and for Him our wellbeing is of the utmost importance. To achieve this, we must believe that God is real, that He is not an illusory or abstract idea.  The Bible says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11: 6.

Receiving His benefits is conditioned on believing that He is, that He is our loving Father and the Creator of the universe, and we must develop with Him a relationship based on love. It is true that God is abstract in the sense that we cannot see Him with our physical eyes, but we don’t see the wind, yet we know that there is because we feel its effects. We don’t see electricity, but we use it. We make use of many things that are not seen, and according to the physical sight are abstract. Let us likewise believe in God, in His goodness towards each of us, His children.  Harvest the benefits of your relationship with Him, and then thank Him, because a grateful heart is closer to God. It would be absurd to thank Him for our suffering. We are not suggesting that we give thanks to God for the death of a loved one, or because we lost a job, but we can give thanks for the time that person enriched our lives, or for the time He provided for our needs through that job, for the knowledge we acquired, for His care and compassion, while at the same time we ask Him to show us our new source of income, etc.  That would be a petition with thanksgiving.

If we manage our lives according to His instructions, which signify to live according to His will, we will reap the benefits. We are here to learn.  We didn’t come to suffer limitations.  Suggesting you do things according to His instructions doesn’t qualify as proposing for you a blind faith, because we have as a reference the lives of people who are living close to God and who we admire, and we wish to have the peace and contentment they enjoy, and we know that can only be accomplished by being close to God. If you don’t know how to accept His grace, remember that Jesus Christ is knocking at the door of your heart, asking you to invite Him to come and teach you.  He will not force His presence in your life. He is the Teacher Whom God assigned to you. He and the Holy Spirit - which is God’s Voice - are ready to guide you and clarify your doubts that you may have the certainty that God is!

“Today we learn to think of gratitude in place of anger, malice and revenge. We have been given everything. If we refuse to recognize it, we are not entitled therefore to our bitterness, and to a self-perception which regards us in a place of merciless pursuit, where we are badgered ceaselessly, and pushed about without a thought or care for us or for our future. Gratitude becomes the single thought we substitute for these insane perceptions. God has cared for us, and calls us Son. Can there be more than this?  Our gratitude will pave the way to Him, and shorten our learning time by more than you could ever dream of. Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found. For gratitude is but an aspect of the Love which is the Source of all creation. God gives thanks to you, His Son, for being what you are; His Own completion and the Source of love, along with Him. Your gratitude to Him is one with His to you. For love can walk no road except the way of gratitude, and thus we go who walk the way to God. ACIM L.195. 9-10

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."  2 Corinthians 13:14