Practice Gratitude, Even in Difficult Seasons

Practice Gratitude, Even in Difficult Seasons

When difficult seasons present, it can be hard to practice gratitude. Yet giving thanks should not be optional. 

A Hard Season

I began writing this blog post three months ago. I started it with this paragraph: “My husband and I are in one of those seasons. Our vehicles continue to steal from our bank account. My dad continues his decline physically and mentally. We continue to struggle with finding someone to watch our twenty-five-year-old daughter who has intellectual disabilities so we can get away as a couple. The aging process continues to introduce us to new aches and pains.” 

Much has happened since I typed those words. Most of them are still true; however, my dad’s health is no longer declining; he’s healed. On August 23, my sister and I sat with Dad while he approached the gates of heaven where Jesus welcomed him in with open arms. 

The loss of my parents has rocked my world. My emotions roller-coaster day to day, sometimes minute to minute. I’m grateful they are healed and at peace, but I miss them terribly. 

Practice Gratitude

And some of the time, I don’t feel particularly thankful. You may find yourself feeling the same way. It’s okay to acknowledge our sadness or disappointment, but if we’re not careful, our negative emotions can color more and more of our days. We can get stuck in that valley. To get out, we need to pursue gratitude. 

Being intentional about giving thanks is an important spiritual discipline for Christians (everyone really) to cultivate. Practicing a grateful heart can breed benefits we don’t even know about.

Practicing a grateful heart can breed benefits we don't even know about. Click To Tweet

A nurse practitioner from Minnesota lists some of them: “Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity. Gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease.” 

The Constant to Remember

How do we practice gratitude in the hard times? There are many practical ways to help cultivate gratitude, but I’m not going to dive into all of them in this post.

However, as Christians, it’s critical to remember that no matter how bad our circumstances are, we always have one constant in our lives for which to be thankful: the Lord. He will never stop loving us; He will never leave us. That’s a powerful truth that should move us to consider life outside of our circumstances.

The difficult things in life don’t win. Those unwanted situations won’t last forever. Our sorrow will one day be replaced with joy. So …

  • When it seems there’s nothing to be grateful for, look ahead and give thanks that the Lord will meet you there.
  • When life throws you another curve ball, look behind and be grateful for all the Lord has done to get you this far.
  • When everything seems to be imploding around you, look up and praise the God who will never leave you in the rubble.

Words of Truth

Just because we can’t see a brighter day ahead, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Just because we don’t see God working, doesn’t mean He isn’t. In fact, we can count on it.

Brighter days are ahead for all Christians. God is working in our lives for our good. One day, He will welcome us into heaven where we will have no more tears. Let those truths form a word of thanksgiving in your heart and on your lips. 

Brighter days are ahead for all Christians. God is working in our lives for our good. One day, He will welcome us into heaven where we will have no more tears. Let those truths form a word of thanksgiving in your heart and on your… Click To Tweet

“Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

Reflections: How do you practice gratitude? What word of truth fills your heart with thanksgiving?  

Looking for an easy and meaningful way to prepare for Thanksgiving? Check out this post where I provide instructions and templates for creating a Thanksgiving Tree. Click here. 


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By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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