I can be a chronic complainer when times are hard. I can’t see anything good to come and the “what ifs” feel all-consuming.
If you struggle with this too, being thankful to God is a far better way to respond when things go wrong. It shows that you trust God and that no matter what happens you believe in who God is: good.
It changes your attitude and brings back your joy, which stops the enemy from stealing it. Satan wants you trapped in a cycle of ingratitude, but God has goodness, always, in our struggles.
How to Express Your Gratitude to God
The power of gratitude to God changes your outlook—you can have hope and not feel despair. God calls us to be grateful at all times.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)
When you choose to give thanks, your hard circumstances may not change but how you view them will. Your outlook will be altered for the better, allowing you to go through the situation with peace—knowing that God has got it.
Showing appreciation to God can be demonstrated by how you choose to respond in hard times. Will you decide to thank Jesus or complain? Will you thank him even if things don’t seem to be turning out well?
There is always something to be thankful to God for. Will you choose to trust in who he is and remember his faithfulness in the past?
How you choose to respond to your trials makes a difference. It can either grow your character to be more Christ-like, or the enemy can win, leading you to feel great defeat. God is faithful to get you through this time—how you have changed from it can be used for the great things he has for you.
Benefits of Giving Thanks to God
Thankfulness to God is so beneficial. It allows you to focus on the positive instead of the negative in hard times. You become more humble because you’re not focusing on yourself and the situation, but on God.
God sees the big picture and what fruit he will bring through it to grow your character. You can experience God’s peace and comfort when you are being thankful to God. Showing gratitude to God instills in you that you are not alone in the trials, but that God is with you and that good will come out of them.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)
Being thankful helps you refocus on truth as you turn to Jesus. It stops the enemy from allowing you to feel hopeless or overwhelmed in this difficult time. Instead, you feel hopeful as you thank God for who he is. Your heart feels full and can bring hope to others as they see your attitude, too. This shows that you love God and allows you to love yourself and love people as they see your gratitude—and they too can be that way in hard times with Jesus.
Choose to be thankful to God.
How to Thank God
There are many ways to give thanks to God. Honestly, it’s not something we are innately inclined to do—so it feels hard—but you can make this decision.
You can thank him for who he is, and the fact that you have a relationship with him. In that, you can have steadfast peace and comfort. You’ll acknowledge that he is taking care of things.
Being thankful to God can be a lifestyle when you discipline yourself to do it no matter what. This brings praise to God and allows you to live a life of worshiping him.
It takes great humility on our part to decide to thank him. Below, you will find 3 ways you can make the decision to be thankful to God in hard times.
1. Appreciate What You Have
In difficult times you can forget that you still have so much. Your weariness can feel so heavy that you can’t see anything good in your life. But this isn’t true. There is always something that you can be thankful to God for.
Knowing him alone is a reason to be thankful; his neverending presence with you, and his love. Who he is and what he has brought you out of—what your salvation means for you—can always stir overflowing thankfulness to God.
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2-5, NIV)
Refocus your heart on that. Maybe you lost your job, but you have an interview coming up and lots of friends and family to support you. Thank God for that. Thank God that he is taking care of it all, and is the great provider. When you feel void and empty, lost in your hard circumstances, find something to be thankful for.
2. Show Gratitude Through Your Generosity
Hard times can make you focus on yourself. You are worried about what is going to happen to you, and can become consumed with that.
But if you choose to instead invest your time in others, you can feel thankful. Thankful to see the good that God is doing through your serving and the good he has already produced in you. Gratitude to God that you have a purpose and that good can happen in all times.
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:11, NIV)
Gratitude to God will flow out of you and you will not be focusing on the negative.
3. Being Content
Paul was an apostle whose many trials you can read about in the Bible. Despite his hardships, he prospered in Christ. He advanced the kingdom. You can see that he grew to become more Christ-like in these times. He exuded being thankful to God by learning to be content.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13, NIV)
He demonstrates that in hard times you can be thankful—and you can get through it—because you have the strength of Jesus within you. God will get you through it all and give you the ability to persevere.
In hard times, you can do it through Christ. You can be thankful for this; it’s how you can always express thankfulness.
Being thankful to God can feel hard when circumstances are trying. But you can choose to be thankful to Jesus. You can appreciate what you have, show gratitude through your generosity, and be content. There is so much to be thankful to God for when you know Jesus. He is your strength, always. You can get through this hard time, because he will get you through it.
Hi, I'm Nikki
My goal is to help and equip Christian women like you to live for Jesus by following Matthew 22:37-39: to love God, to love yourself, and to love others.
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