4 Ways to Practice Gratitude in Hard Times

In difficult times, it is challenging to practice gratitude.

When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s provision. Unexpected trials tend to make us grumble, complain, and focus on what we lack.

Yet in this difficult time, I have seen so many people who have been devastated by the impacts of the pandemic, yet choose to focus on God’s faithfulness.

They are filled with peace because they know God will answer their prayers—even if His response isn’t exactly what they envisioned.

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The thing we must never forget is this: God never changes.

He is the same today and always. His goodness and faithfulness are trustworthy and constant.

Even in the most difficult seasons, we can count our blessings because God is still good.

4 Ways to Practice Gratitude in Hard Times

If you are struggling to see God’s goodness, here are a few tips to practice gratitude in any season.

1 – Start a Gratitude Journal

In general, journaling is a beneficial habit to form. Writing about things going on in your life is a great way to record your spiritual growth. This practice doesn’t have to be profound. After all, you will be the only one reading it. Make it personal and layout whatever is on your heart.

Rather than recounting what happened during your day, seek to record the ways you see God at work in your life. Reflect on the positive that happened that day. Gratitude journaling can be as simple as thanking God for each new day.

2 – Meditate on God’s Word

“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.” 2 Cor 4:16

In hard times, it can be difficult to take our eyes off of our current circumstances. This is the time when we need to rely on God’s goodness and faithfulness. When you focus on God throughout the day, you lose sight of what isn’t going well.

Taking time to read God’s Word every day reminds us of His faithfulness and helps us learn His Truth. God’s Word is the armor that protects us from the difficulties in this world. It helps us to remember what we have to be grateful for every day.

3 – Give to Others

“Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38
 
This might sound weird if you are going through your own set of hardships. However, giving to others helps us take our focus off of ourselves and our current circumstances. It puts our personal hardships into perspective.
 
Consider volunteering at a local homeless shelter or food bank. When you see the wide variety of difficulties in your community, you can’t help but be thankful for what God has given you. Making this a regular commitment can help lift your spirits and recognize the blessings in your life.

4 – Prayers of Gratitude

“Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:18

Jesus died on the cross to give us direct access to the Father. God wants us to communicate with Him through the practice of prayer.

Opening your prayers in praise and thanksgiving can help you get into a healthy rhythm of prayer. It is also good to give God praise throughout the day. Wherever you are, pause what you are doing to thank your Father for His enduring love.

No matter what you are going through, know that you are not alone because God is with you. He loves you and has a good plan for your life.

We can be grateful because God is faithful! He invites us to seek out His goodness in every trial.

Let us rejoice every day because God has created it, and He reigns over it.

“Don’t be deceived, my dearly loved brothers. Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him, there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the firstfruits of His creatures.” James 1:16-17
 
** All Bible Verses are from the English Standard Version Study Bible.

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