Maybe you’d only say in a hushed tone to your closest friend over a cup of coffee: “I just don’t feel grateful,” but it’s certainly not an uncommon sentiment. Sometimes it really does feel hard to be thankful. Intellectually, you know it shouldn’t be, but that doesn’t change the fact that it sometimes is. As you consider the state of your heart, gratitude may be the furthest thing from your mind...
Maybe you lost a loved one this year.
Maybe your job feels precarious or just really stressful.
Maybe your family dynamics are difficult.
Maybe a friendship or relationship has changed dramatically.
Maybe your kids are in a particularly challenging stage and parenting takes everything you have.
Whether multiple of these scenarios ring true for you, or none of them ring true but you’re still struggling with an ungrateful heart…take a deep breath and look to God’s Word. Remind yourself that your feelings aren’t ultimate. When we renew our minds with Scripture, our emotions will eventually catch up! Often, cultivating gratitude begins with practicing gratitude.
So, if you’re struggling to cultivate gratitude, here’s a place to start practicing it. Consider these four passages; four reasons God’s people have thanked Him in the past. Let them be a starting point for how you practice gratitude today.
“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.” Psalm 118:28
Thank Him for His character. The best foundation for thanksgiving is a heart that trusts and knows the goodness of God. When we see Him for who He is our natural response is to give thanks.
Practice today: What characteristics of God can you thank Him for today?
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Thank Him for His faithfulness. One of the greatest gifts the Word gives us is a literal record of God’s faithfulness. Over and over we see stories of how He keeps His promises to His people. How can we not respond with gratitude?
Practice today: Write down a list of the ways you’ve personally experienced God’s faithfulness in the last year.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
Thank Him for salvation. Our greatest need—to be reconciled to the God who created us after sin separated us—has been met through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God’s grace on display will fuel our gratitude for eternity!
Practice today: Spend some time in prayer thanking God for rescuing you from sin and welcoming you with grace.
"Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9
Thank Him for His provision. When you stop to really think about it, isn’t it amazing that the Creator of the entire universe cares enough to know and meet your daily needs? Without fail, God’s steadfast love ensures His abiding care for His people.
Practice today: Make a list of the ways you’ve seen God provide for you and the people you know. Thank Him for each one.
Remember—cultivating gratitude begins with practicing gratitude. Don’t overthink it and don’t let a hard start to the day steal the opportunity from you...just start! Get in the Word, give thanks for what you see and for what it brings to mind in your own life, and watch your gratitude grow.
We’re thankful for YOU and we’re cheering you on!
- GraceLaced Team