How to Be Grateful When You’re Not

November 23, 2017  - By Gretchen Saffles

We’ve all been there. Approaching Thanksgiving Day with a list of complaints piling up in our hearts, clouding our vision from what truly matters. I’ve walked through a lot of Thanksgivings struggling to be truly grateful, with my eyes set on the temporary and not the eternal.

If you’re in the same boat, struggling to be grateful today, here’s what the Lord has taught me through my seasons of ingratitude:

1. Diagnose your ingratitude.

Label it. What’s driving you to be ungrateful? What’s clouding your vision from thanking the Lord for all He has done? Instead of letting ingratitude consume you, name it and ask the Lord to help you see His sovereignty and goodness woven throughout the story of your life.

2. Remember what He has done.

Grab a journal and make a list of the countless ways He has been faithful. You aren’t the exception to God’s faithfulness. If you need help here, open your Bible and flip through the pages of countless ways God has been faithful. In remembering, we revisit His limitless ability and refocus on our God who can do anything.

3. Meditate on Psalm 136.

Give thanks to the Lord for His goodness. Start thanking Him in advance for His faithfulness in the future rather than worrying about tomorrow. Speak your gratitude out loud. Write it down. Keep it constantly before your eyes.

Sometimes our hearts might not “feel” grateful, but the more we open the Word and the more we lift our eyes from the temporary to the eternal, the more our hearts will be filled with the fragrance of thanksgiving. And that’s a scent that is far better than any Thanksgiving meal.

What are you thankful for today? Even if you’re in a hard season, ask the Lord to show you ways He has been faithful, knowing that His love endures forever, even in the hard times.

choosing gratitude,


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