“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I am really good at being grateful when things are going well. It was easy for me to praise God when I got into a new program at school or when I got the perfect summer job. But I usually forget to be grateful during the process, or when I haven’t gotten what I was hoping for.
I have been learning to give thanks during the tough stuff. This hasn’t been easy for me, as my first thought is always, “God, why would you do this?” I can think of one particular situation where my initial reaction was to blame God for the bad thing that happened to me. Through this event I ended up growing closer to Him, and it ended up saving me from the harmful life I was living. However, I wasn’t grateful; I was angry. I kept asking, “Why would You let this happen to lead me closer to You?”
It has taken me years to realize that the evil of the world isn’t of Him. I have found that in every situation you can find God’s presence. Even through my darkest times, I can look back and see Him working. That isn’t to diminish the pain and hurt I have felt, but it gives me peace knowing that God’s light is stronger than the darkness. I’m trying to work on being grateful in the moment. It’s one thing to have hindsight and give thanks, but it's another to be feeling hopeless and to thank God.
In my own life, I have been dealing with a lot of stress from school. Instead of questioning God’s plan for me, I have been thanking Him for the opportunities He has given me and how I am growing through the trials. A verse that I have really been leaning on is Hebrews 10:23, which says, “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” This reminds me to be thankful for God, because He is my rock and He will never forsake me.
One way I have been practicing gratitude is writing down the little things I am thankful for. This is just an easy way to really see how God has blessed me through all seasons of my life. This week I really encourage you to take a look at your life, and the all the little and big things that God has done for you. Look at how far you have come, and thank God for helping you through it all. Take heart that He is always there, and that He will never leave you!
How has God worked through the darkness in your life?
What are some things you are thankful for?
How can you be more thankful when you are feeling hopeless?
Dear God, Thank You so much for all the blessings You have given me. Thank You for the struggles I have had in my life that have brought me closer to You. Help me to be more grateful as I go throughout my day. Help me to see your light and goodness in every situation, even when I feel hopeless. Thank You so much for Your love. Amen.