It’s a choice
It’s easy to be thankful when times are good, but what about when times are challenging? When life seems to be coming against you? When you’re feeling scared, stressed, or upset? Gratitude isn’t our natural response to trouble. Our natural response usually includes fear, complaining, and discouragement. Gratitude through the tough times is a discipline we have to develop. We have to practice being thankful to God, even when it feels like there’s nothing to be thankful about. The psalmist said, ‘do not forget all his kindnesses’ (Psalm 103:2 NCV). When we’re facing trouble, and we don’t think God has blessed us, we need to take some time to remember all the times He’s been faithful before. That way we’ll end up filled with joy and hope for what God can do with the situation we’re in now. Habakkuk said, ‘Fig trees may not grow…there may be no grapes on the vines…no olives…no food growing in the fields…no sheep in the pens and no cattle in the barns. But I will still…rejoice in God my Saviour’ (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NCV). And the psalmist said: I will praise the Lord at all times; his praise is always on my lips’ (Psalm 34:1 NCV). Both these verses suggest praising God no matter what the circumstances. When our situations seem bad, we need to shift our focus from the problems around us to the amazing God who loves us. When it seems like there’s nothing in our lives to be thankful for, we can thank God for Who He is, and what He’s done for us. We can thank Him for His love, acceptance, and forgiveness. When we take time to give thanks for the blessings in our lives, it will change our outlook and attitude.
Whenever you face something tough today, however big or small, say to yourself ‘I will praise the Lord at all times.’