Challenging circumstances can dysregulate us. We cry, experience heartaches, we wonder if God is with us, and giving thanks to God may seem illogical. Giving thanks to God in difficult times takes practice and it is a supernatural lifestyle.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Be thankful IN ALL circumstances? Yes, you read that correctly and it is an instruction. God wants us to be thankful in good and bad times.
God often instructs us to do what is humanly difficult or impossible. Let us consider God’s instructions as a call to live a supernatural life like Jesus. The latter part of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us it is God’s will for those who belong to him to be thankful in all circumstances. How can we make God's will a reality in our lives? 1 John 5:14 (NIV) says "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." This means we can ask God to help us or teach us to be thankful in all circumstances because it is his will.
To be thankful in all circumstances, we must learn to count our blessings in all circumstances, focus on God's goodness, and believe that all things work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).
When tempted to complain, I count my blessings by intentionally replacing “I have to” with “I get to”. I tell myself:
I remind myself that I get to do these things because I am alive and well. Being alive is something to be thankful for.
It is your turn to count your blessings. What are those situations you cannot change or daily activities you sometimes feel "you have to do"? It is time to change your perception and how you speak about them.
Mentally and verbally replace your “I have to” with “I get to”. You may also write them out if you can. Then give thanks to God for the things you get to do.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am thankful for the gift of life. I ask that you teach me to stay thankful in all circumstances. I want to do your will and being thankful is your will. Give me the grace to live a life of thanksgiving. In Jesus' name.