Title: 9 Things We Are Hardly Thankful For
Description: What comes to your mind when you think about Thanksgiving?
It’s often easier to complain or find fault with every little thing in life, instead of being thankful for what we’ve been given.
But 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us that it is God’s will for us “give thanks in all circumstances”—this means that we are to be thankful both during the good and the not-so-good times.
How can we be thankful and even “consider it pure joy” (James 1:2-4) whenever we encounter difficult circumstances? It helps to remember the end goal God has in mind: the trials we face are opportunities for our faith to become “mature and complete”.
Starting today, let’s learn to grow a heart of gratitude by looking for the silver lining in all situations, knowing that God uses all things to work for our good (Romans 8:28). To help you get started, here are 9 things we often forget to be thankful for:
1. Monday & Mornings
Mondays and weekday mornings can be such a drag, especially when all you want to do is stay under the covers or get a few more minutes of sleep. But let’s remember that it’s by God’s grace that we are given another day, and His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22). This means we have fresh opportunities to experience His joy and blessings every Monday and weekday morning. What a gift that is!
2. Change & Uncertainties
Depending on whether you’re a half-full or half-empty kind of person, changes and uncertainties can be uncomfortable and unsettling. But if we viewed them as new opportunities to grow and commit our fears to God, He’ll guard our hearts and minds with His peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7), and help us navigate our uncertainties with the certainty of His unchanging love.
3. Growing Up & Getting Old
The thought of growing another year older can be paralyzing: We don’t want to “adult” and be responsible for more things in life, or face the reality of effects of growing old. But if we choose to walk with God and root ourselves in Him, we will be built up in Him (Colossians 2:6-7) and experience more of His goodness each year. And that’s worth being thankful for.
4. Tough Love & Hard Truths
Tough love and hard truths sound painful, but Proverbs 27:6 says that wounds from a friend can be trusted. So even when it’s difficult to hear these words from our friends, let’s embrace them and be encouraged that we have friends who care enough about our lives to ensure that we stay on the right path and don’t make decisions that we might regret.
5. Trials & Setbacks
Life is full of ups and downs, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or discouraged when life doesn’t go the way we expected it to. But we can trust that God will use the trials and challenges we face to prune us, teach us, and mold us—so that our faith may be refined, strengthened, and perfected in the fire of these trials (1 Peter 1:6-7).
6. Differences & Diversity
We all want to feel important and valued, and sometimes that means we end up comparing ourselves with others and feeling disappointed when we seem to come up short. But what if we invested our time and energy into growing our gifts and playing our part to strengthen the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)? We’ll begin to see the beauty of our differences and diversity—and how that testifies to the glory of God.
7. Broken Relationships & Bad Experiences
Broken hearts and promises can leave us shattered and cynical. Whether it’s a result of bad choices or unforeseen circumstances, the Lord reminds us that He is there to walk us through every heartbreak and disappointment (Psalm 147:3). His grace carries us through and in Him we can be made whole once again.
8. Basic Necessities & Provisions
Access to clean water, food in our stomach, a comfortable bed in the evenings . . . These are the things we often take for granted, and don’t always share on our Instastories. But they are simple reminders that we have a God who meets all our needs (Philippians 4:19) and is deserving of our praise!
9. Our Weaknesses & Flaws
A quick glance on social media shows that most of us are uncomfortable revealing our weaknesses and flaws. We would rather hide them and pretend that all is fine. But Paul shows us a different approach to weakness in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: he gladly boasts about his weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on him. How might you use your weaknesses and flaws to foster greater dependence on God today?