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Gratefulness in the Hard Times

An attitude of gratitude! We’ve heard that before, right? It does have a certain ring to it and truth for sure but how often does our gratitude gauge plummet when we experience disappointments, break-ups, losses, grief and the list goes on when life happens. When my husband died and I was left with five children at home and one in college, I remembered the scripture, Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. I thought to myself I love God and I know that I am called according to His purpose, but how is this going to work for my good?”

It’s so easy to express our gratefulness when things are going our way but amid our trials, we often see little or nothing to be grateful for. How soon we forget the blessings we have already been given and standing in right now. Even the very life we live is not because of our own doing but a gift from God! This doesn't mean that you cannot hurt or have emotions. My heart was very sad with all kinds of thoughts going through my head about why my husband died and how I would now raise the children alone. But as I begin to be thankful every day for what I knew that only God could do, friends and family support, provisions made for me and my children and honestly how it could have been me who died, gratitude began to fill my heart. Instead of negative thoughts and constant sad thoughts, I began to speak and write out my gratitude every day for whatever I could think of or see that was good. I refused to allow the sadness to cover the goodness of God in my life. I had to choose to be grateful.

We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ for us. Sure, were not thankful for everything but we can be thankful in those hard times. And when those times come, we can look to Christ for strength. He wants us to depend on him and not ourselves to get us through. These times even help build character, strength for other things that may come and mold us to be more like Christ every day.

I have created a downloadable gratitude journal, listed here in the "books" sections. Prayerfully this 30-day journal will help you to focus through the scriptures, reflection, prayer and recording your gratitude notes daily. You can find a list of things to be grateful for here: May your heart be filled with gratitude and the joy of the Lord!

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