When Being Thankful Isn’t Easy

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Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


In our lives, we are all destined to endure tough times. It’s just the way life works. The Bible even talks about it in James when we are told to consider it pure joy when we endure trials. Not if, right? When. There’s an inevitability attached to that verse and though it may not be fun to think about, it’s a reality within our lives.

It’s so easy to be bowled over when tough times come. It’s so easy to focus on the negative and to feel victimized by life. But when we were warned about trials, it wasn’t so we could curl up in a ball and feel sorry for ourselves. Rather, it was so we could be ready to forge a tougher version of ourselves out of the wreckage.

So how do you get around falling victim to tough times? How do you maintain a heart of thankfulness?

  1. Keep perspective

    I know that’s so much easier said than done, but when times get hard, God urges us to cling to him and His word. Why? Because both things help us endure through strength and hope. People and things may be temporary, but God, and his love for us, are eternal.
  2. Remember Hope

    Speaking of hope, Jesus is the ultimate symbol of hope. Why? Because he was the steward responsible for giving us hope from what he did on the Cross. No matter what you are going through, we can find hope in Him through the sacrifice he made for us But not only that, we can find hope in searching for the strength to endure whatever we are facing.
  3. See the big picture

    One thing I’ve learned is that there is always a big picture with God. One singular situation is never the whole story. What you are forced to endure now will affect who you will become later.

Similarly, just because we have a hardship in one area of our lives, that doesn’t mean God has forsaken us. It just means he is molding us. Preparing us. Chiseling us into what we need to become. And who knows better about that than God?


What’s a situation you’ve faced where it was difficult for you to be thankful about anything? How did you respond?


God, I pray for your strength and wisdom when I encounter trials and I pray for your hand to be on my heart to not grow bitter and self-pitying, but to be hopeful and observant of all the ways you protect us and keep us outside of whatever we are enduring. Lord, help us to keep perspective, keep hope and remember that you are the great I AM who watches over us ceaselessly.

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