You don't have any reason to be thankful today.

You have EVERY reason to be thankful today.

For family, for feuds. For memories, for regrets. For love, for heartbreak. There is nothing in your life for which you can't possibly be thankful. Ferguson, climate change, immigration, Ebola - no matter how terrible or complicated evil has made the world, you have every reason (nothing excluded) to be thankful because you have the game-changer. You have the Gospel.

The Gospel is this: God loved you even though you were essentially evil and were opposed to him, and in order to make sure that you wouldn't have to suffer the consequences that come with fighting a battle against the perfect, faultless and just Creator of the universe he suffered those consequences in your place. This takes away your evilness and gives you a way to relate to, cooperate with, and benefit from God and his love. God did this for you, for free. (The best deal anybody ever got on a Friday, ever.)

Because you have the Gospel, everything that happens is an opportunity filled with hope. 

Because you have the Gospel, you are no longer stuck trying to make a way for yourself, fighting in a dog-eat-dog, nobody-wins-if-everybody-wins, knock-down, drag-out, overly-hyphenated fight. You don't have to worry about what happens if a cultural shift takes away your rights or if mismanagement of the global ecosystem takes away your life. You don't have to worry about these things anymore, because the Gospel means God has won. Nothing is going to take Christ's victory over evil on the cross away from you. 

HOWEVER, not worrying about the important, the tragic, the terrible things going on as a result of evil in the world is not the same as ignoring them. Because you have the Gospel, you get to think about these things, work on them, and wisely use the gifts (intelligence, money, skills) you have to help solve these things as managers in God's kingdom. God has taken away the fear that comes from having to "go it alone" and replaced those fears with important responsibilities (read: privileges) as you walk the road of life.

When you look at all the garbage that's going on in the world today through the lens of Gospel hope, you have EVERY reason to be thankful. 

Racism, disease, political unrest, and economic woes are not simple. They aren't light or happy. We don't want them in our lives, and we shouldn't, because they are the result of sin and evil and selfishness. But none of them are going to take away the sure hope that God has won for you and given to you, free of charge. Even if they all happen at the same time, even if they tear apart our families and our lives, they can never pull us from the embrace of our loving God. 

Literally everything that happens is a reason for you to be thankful, because you have a hope that will never be broken, and because everything that happens is an opportunity for you to be an ambassador of that hope to a desperate world.

Happy, blessed Thanksgiving to you all. 

1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 

A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth by Paul Gerhardt (vs. 5)
Lord, all my life to you I'll cling, your love forever holding. 
You ever, as you ever me, with loving arms enfolding.
Lord, you will be my beacon-light,
guiding me safe through death's dark night,
cheering my heart in sorrow.
Therefore myself and all that's mine,
to you, my Savior, I consign,
from whom all things I borrow.