Heroes of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving brings us both joys and challenges, as families and friends take time to reconnect across America. But for many, it can be a time of loneliness, as memories of the past fill our thoughts and distract us from what’s in front of us.

In God’s Word, we can find courage and inspiration from faithful men and women who faced challenges similar to our own.

Joseph was a teenage boy sold into slavery at the hands of his brothers; he spent years faithfully serving God in a foreign land only to be betrayed by his employer and thrown into prison. While in prison, he continued to be a witness for God—despite the ingratitude and thoughtlessness of his fellow prisoners. When God opened the way for his deliverance, Joseph gave all the credit to Him (Genesis 45:7). Amid all the ill-treatment, Joseph trusted that God was working everything out for his good (Romans 8:28).

Daniel was taken by force to a foreign land; from his youth he chose to honor God’s laws in a society that was determined to change him. Throughout his long career as a servant of the king, he maintained a life of such integrity that even his enemies could find no fault in him. Yet as Daniel neared his eightieth year, he was faced with death because of his decision to worship the true God. In the face of this threat, the record says Daniel “knelt down on his knees … and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Daniel 6:10). Daniel’s daily habit of gratitude carried him through this awful test with flying colors.

Mary was a young, unmarried girl growing up in a wicked city; she met an angel who presented her with the privilege of being the mother of the Son of God. Recognizing the risks to her reputation, her future marriage, and to her heart, Mary joyfully accepted the challenge, saying, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:46-48). In her gratitude, Mary focused on the blessings in her life rather than the many difficulties she faced.

As you meet challenges in your life, may you be inspired by the faithfulness of God’s servants in the past. Click here for a free resource to encourage you this Thanksgiving.

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