Gratitude is a Habit
At the end of each day I always try to jot down a few things I’m thankful for. Some of the usuals include, my Redeemer, my sweet man, family and friends, good health, church, job, this ministry, and more. My thanks is not for a perfect life, but rather for one that is rich and fulfilling in Christ. Yes, I’m grateful for the good days, but I also choose to be thankful for the days that run amuck, for the ones that bring setbacks, and even the ones that sometimes go sadly wrong. It’s a choice. You see, life is a mirror of God’s handiwork, with every detail perfectly crafted. His gift presents each of us with the opportunity to be thankful for every moment.
A Few of My Favorite Things
On one hand it’s easy to be grateful for the blessings when they benefit us, but less so when we experience the hard times. The most important thing though is to grow from each situation so it leads us to a heart of gratitude. Even when things are crazy, I’m thankful for….
- A strong marriage to my sweet man [which is nearing 40 years of wedded bliss].
- Our kids and grandkids and the joy they bring.
- The intimate and beautiful group of faith-filled women in my circle.
- The lessons I learn from difficult situations and the growth that occurs as a result.
- The ability to love others when they don’t love me back.
- The strength and courage God gives me to bounce back after a misstep.
Maybe you’re thinking I shouldn’t have included the last three bullets on the list, but cultivating a heart of gratitude encompasses both the good and the bad. It’s what grows us in strength and godly character. We don’t always like it, but it is good for the soul.
“I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever.” Psalm 86:12
Be Ready for the Tough Times
The last eight months have proved to be some of the most difficult this generation has ever faced. Difficult for reasons that we don’t fully comprehend or easily understand.
Difficult, because we’ve been stretched beyond our capacity to cope. It’s no longer just the ordinary challenges that fill our days. Now, we are faced with a pandemic that magnifies every health issue, job loss, passing of friends or family, and any other circumstance that requires our best out-of-the-box thinking. Any one of us can claim spiritual, emotional, and mental exhaustion, and rightly so. But we also know we are not meant to navigate these events on our own.
Instead, we must fall on our knees, thank God for His hand of provision, and pray for His protection, mercy, and grace in every situation. It’s about asking, “Lord, what are You trying to teach me?”
I’m reminded of that ‘character building’ thing again. It’s during the tough times that His goodness covers us. It’s also the time He reveals His strength and courage through us.
Rejoice at the Golden Nuggets
There have been a lot of negatives and difficulties in these past months, but many of us have looked for the golden nuggets too. You may have found a slower pace. Or the time to serve others in these unprecedented times. You might have had an opportunity to make a way for something you didn’t know existed. Or you may have received the God’s gift of strength and patience in the midst of your exhaustion and weakness.
1 Chronicles 28:20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.”
Give Praise in Every Circumstance
God’s Word fills our hearts with truth and wisdom. We can be grateful for the prayers and words of encouragement shared by friends and strangers alike. We can be thankful for God’s strength through these not-so-easy times.
We are to praise Him in every circumstance. He always makes His presence known in a mighty way and we can be thankful for every moment.
His Word says in Psalm 28:7, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
A Thankful Heart Keeps Us Grounded and Grateful.
During this season of change we are to praise God in every situation. His plan is perfect over everything and His Will reigns supreme. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him and we can be thankful for every moment.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO PRINT YOUR FREE GIFT TO FRAME:
Art work created by Megan Lawson
- What are you thankful for today? Is there a big or small blessing you haven’t thanked Him for? If so, bow your head right now and pray a prayer of thanksgiving to Him.
- Jot down a few of His blessings in your journal. Reflect on your answers and align them with His Word.
Lord, thank You for the blessings big and small. For Your protection, mercy, grace, and more when You’re watching over me. I want to praise You for the good in this life and the teachable moments that you so lovingly provide. Each and every opportunity allows me to be thankful for every moment.
Blessings to you!