In all things give thanks.
You know you need to, but there’s just no way you can give thanks to God for that person. Anybody but that person. Sure, you’re thankful for your bestie, your kids, your grands. You’re even thankful for the neighbor who picks up your mail while you’re out of town. No doubt God’s brought awesome people into your life including the driver who let you merge into that left lane. And for each, you are grateful. But …
Then there’s the situation. The situation. The maddening circumstance that developed just weeks ago. And now you’re stuck. You’ve given thanks for a lot of problems, but not this one because there’s no green light at the end of this emerging dark tunnel.
And the unanswered prayer. How could you thank God for not lifting His hand on the big one when you’ve asked a hundred times—maybe a thousand?
But you know this is the point. You truly trust God with all things. Your thanks give God glory. But it’s easier to ask Him to change people or circumstances than change yourself. It’s easier to grumble about the rain than to praise God when the thunder is so loud.
But thank God, opportunities for attitude adjustments exist for our benefit. Take a look at the returns of having a grateful outlook:
- Gratitude helps relieve stress. Research shows that when we give thanks, we can keep our minds from slipping towards anxiety.*
- Gratitude places a positive spin on your day. According to studies, a position of thankfulness releases dopamine and serotonin—two feel-good neurotransmitters.*
- Gratitude improves your social life. Thankfulness increases empathy and reduces aggression.*
- Gratitude reduces harmful psychological and emotional downturns. Expressing thankfulness can lesson symptoms of depression and anxiety.*
God created us in His all-knowing, all-understanding image. As His image bearers, we’re to reflect the truth that all things work to the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Knowing all things lead to God’s will of goodness, we can praise Him in our trials.
prompt some gratitude
Try using these gratitude prompts to steer your mind into a space of thankfulness.
- When a situation turns difficult, stop and thank God first before moving into your own action plan.
- Start your day thankful. Not just for the good, but for the hard you will encounter throughout the day. Recognize God is in control, even of the difficult.
- Thank God your trials are not dead-end roads. He uses trials and difficult people to lead us to new heights of faith.
- Write down the things you grumble about. Take a hardship inventory and as you consider each difficulty, thank God.
- Make gratitude a spiritual discipline. Forming thankful habits will take time, so determine to go through your thankful exercises daily. Soon, your heart will catch up to your list and you’ll be truly grateful the Lord molds and shapes you into a vessel of honor.
The art of gratitude belongs to the warrior. It is the heroes who worship God in the fights of life—in the sweat, in the pain, in the loss. We can praise because we posses understanding—we’ve read the book and know victory comes.
You’re not a grumbling couch potato. You’re a warrior. Give thanks!
...in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. - 1 Thessalonians 5:18
If I perish, I perish,