Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV (click to tweet)
Give thanks in all circumstances? Well that seems rather impossible, doesn't it? How can we be thankful when things are going terribly?
The thing is, it's really not that complicated when you really think about it. Just like most of the things we do in life, it starts with the attitude. And if you start small, and keep persisting, you will be in the habit of giving thanks in all circumstances in no time.
Lets take a look at what we can be thankful for when life is tough.
When you hate your job, thank God that you have a job. Not everybody does.
When your boyfriend dumps you, thank God for the happy times and the opportunity to move on and find someone better or the opportunity to be single.
When your best friend turns on you, thank God that he showed you this side of her. Nobody needs friends like that.
When someone forgets to invite you, thank God for the friends and family you have who never forget you.
Sometimes it's really tough...
When your loved one passes away, thank God for the time you had with them and the hope that you'll see them again one day. Easier said than done, right?
When you or a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, thank God for the time you have left and the people by your side.
When you or your spouse losses their job, thank God for your severance package and your ability to search for a new job.
What about our attitude toward ourselves?
I can't for the life of me find the article again, but recently I read a blog post where the blogger talked about physical appearance and the plethora of self hate going on in that area right now. She suggested that if we can change our attitude to one of thankfulness, we can pull ourselves out of that self hate. Here are some examples I thought of.
When I look in the mirror, I see big ears, so I thank God for giving me the ability to hear. Not everybody has that.
When I look in the mirror, I see a big and rounded nose, so I thank God for giving me the ability to smell. Not everybody has that.
When I look in the mirror, I see big thighs with cellulite, so I thank God for giving me the ability to walk. Not everybody has that.
When I look in the mirror, I see excess belly fat, so I thank God for giving me the money to afford food. Not everybody has that.
You see? If we truly prayed like this every time we looked in the mirror, our attitude would start to change. Likewise, if we pray like this when something big happens to us, we can probably get through it a little easier. Start with the small stuff like your physical appearance to build up the habit and hopefully it will come easier when the big stuff hits.
How do you give thanks in the midst of tragedy or other terrible situations?
Thanks for reading!