But God: Giving Thanks When Life Seems Cruel

Posted by on Nov 20, 2017 | 2 comments

But God: Giving Thanks When Life Seems Cruel

Giving thanks when life seems to have dealt you a cruel hand is hard. Being with family and friends can exacerbate the situation rather than helping. However, the author and controller of our circumstances is God, not man. This Thanksgiving, concentrate on the “but God’s” and give thanks no matter what your situation and help others to do so as well. 



2MefromHim Devotionals

But God: Giving Thanks When Life Seems Cruel

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

But God: Giving Thanks When Life Seems Cruel scripture

Another Thanksgiving, and still my arms were empty. Four years of praying for a child, applications with adoption agencies, prayers, and many baby showers for friends, but we waited. My heart ached. Prayers seemed to bounce off the ceiling. Giving thanks was difficult.

Life often withholds the things we most desire, family, aspirations, dreams, and answers to prayer elude us. The holidays can be especially difficult when we see others enjoying the blessings we long for most.

In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah prays with such anguish of heart that the priest thought she was drunk. Her husband gave constant encouragement through his love, but her anguish was worsened by the cruel taunts of his other wife, who had children.

Holidays bring us into contact with those who have what we lack. Family members and close friends often fail to understand the pain wrought by words they intend as kind. We wish we had stayed home and not subjected ourselves to the rigor of maintaining composure.

Joseph’s youthful boasting and their father’s partiality caused deep resentment in the hearts of his older brothers. Hate led them to plot against him and sell him into slavery, losing everyone and everything he held dear.

But God - Giving Thanks When Life Seems Cruel meme

The trials of Joseph give a powerful example of how believers should react when life is cruel. Joseph never complained when others failed to keep their word, when he suffered at the hands of liars, when he felt hopeless and alone. Like Hannah, he took his hurt to the Lord and remained faithful even when it seemed God had forgotten him.

Both Joseph and Hannah show the power of faith and prayer when life seems cruel. The blessing of contentment lies in leaving our situation in the hands of God. Joseph forgave the suffering his brothers inflicted by recognizing that God, not his brothers, controlled his destiny. Hannah offered the son God gave her back to him by taking him to serve in the temple as soon as she weaned him, at about the age of four.

Joseph voices one of the most powerful “but God’s” of scripture when he is reunited with his brothers. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good….” (Genesis 50:20)

Recognize God as the author of your circumstances. Trust him with the outcome. Ask him for peace to accept things as they are, and give thanks.

© Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, November 16, 2017

Norma Gail authorAbout the author:

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 41 years. They have two adult children. If you’re interested in connecting with her, you’re to follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon.


Land of My Dreams cover


  1. Beautiful post and reminder that God is in control. As His children we must always give thanks and trust in Him.
    Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours.

    • Thanksgiving blessings to you as well, Marilyn!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Did you enjoy this?

If so, please help spread the happiness! Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: