When someone says “Life is great and God is good,” it sounds like they’re saying, “God is good when MY life is great.”

I don’t think that’s really gratitude. When our thankfulness is attached to things we can lose: we’re not living the way we’re designed. Then we’re determining value based on our surroundings, and this is a never-ending game of swinging between idolatrous happiness or fist-shaking despair.

We were created to cling onto a permanent reliable source of life, and there is only one. God is the love you can never lose, the cosmic king of constancy who will never leave you. So when life sucks, things can still be good because God is still good. He doesn’t change when we do. He is still the same when the world is upside-down: because He holds that world the same as yesterday as forever. No one gets the last word on your life but Him, and He is writing your story with a ferociously final love that cannot be beaten.

Then any other blessing is just a bonus, and good things or bad things regain their proper perspective. When things happen — good or bad — they are just things that happen to you, and they can be pretty tough sometimes, but they are NOT you. God determines your value and His mind is already made up about you. For that: I am thankful.

— J

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