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).
When we’re struggling, it’s hard to be thankful. Sometimes it helps to refocus on God’s big picture. My friend Kris shows how—even in the middle of pain—a shift in perspective can inspire a thankful heart.
GUEST BLOG: Kris McBride
About three weeks ago I received an urgent text requesting prayer for my friend’s 24 year old son who fell 30 feet from a tree. Although he was alive the doctors feared his back was broken. The tests confirmed their fear. He was paralyzed from the waist down. In one brief second his life changed forever.
As my friend delivered the devastating news I was surprised by what she shared. Instead of focusing on all that her son had loss she was thanking God that he did not have any head trauma, had no other broken bones, and the fact that he was alive! She sounded hopeful and optimistic in spite of the difficult circumstances. Instead of focusing on what was wrong she made an intentional effort to shift her perspective to thanking God for the blessings in the situation. This resulted in feelings of gratitude and hope instead of anger and bitterness.
I have found this to be true in my own life. Giving thanks is a proven way to change the attitude of your heart. When my mom was dying of cancer I was almost overcome by grief. In desperation I called out to God for help. He gave me this thought, “You’ve had a wonderful mom for 26 years, some people never experience that even for a day.” Almost immediately I began thanking God for my mom. It still wasn’t easy to see her pass from this life, but mingled with grief was a peace and joy that came from a heart focused on gratitude.
Giving thanks works well with small issues too. I’m not a fan of housework. I know people who find great joy in keeping their house in order but that is not my natural bent. However, I’ve found that instead of grumbling about the things I don’t like to do I can take the opportunity to use them as triggers to thank God for all the blessings He has given me. It’s amazing how giving thanks shifts my perspective and lifts my spirit.
At times I realize it is quite difficult to give thanks. However, Paul gives us a plan to follow:
- Rejoice always
- Pray continually
Incorporating these two items into your daily routine helps cultivate a heart of gratitude which gives us the ability to thank God no matter what we are experiencing.
Praying God helps you to see the many things you can thank Him for in your life, no matter your circumstances.