Hope Amidst Hardship

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Practicing Gratitude


Choosing to be thankful when we’re in the middle of or coming out of a season of hardship is probably one of the most difficult things to do. And the truth is, when we are feeling emotionally drained, it’s so easy to want to turn off our brains at the beginning or end of the day to block out the things that pain us. Many times, we turn to our phones. But what we come to find is just an endless sea of bad news or mind-numbing mush. We end up feeling worse.  


How eased would our spirits be if we proclaimed, like the old familiar hymn, “in the morning when I rise, give me Jesus”? How different would our days be if we started each morning steeped in God’s goodness, asking the Holy Spirit to help us pay attention to all the ways He is pouring out His love to us? Would we see things differently? What if we ended our days rooted in the words of scripture? Would we sleep with our minds at peace? 


If we paid attention, we’d see God's love everywhere. In the quiet calm of a winter walk in the woods. In the birds that gather below the bird feeder outside our kitchen window. In the dinnertime meals that warm us from the inside out. There is beauty to be found everywhere. We just need to lift our eyes to see it.  


Pray: 


Jesus, it can be so difficult to find beauty when I am surrounded by hardship. I admit that in seasons of trial, it’s easier to tune out the world to protect my heart. But when I do, I know I am turning my eyes away from all the ways you are showing your love to me, even in the smallest ways. I pray, Father, that you would awaken my heart to see all the life brewing around me when I am too distracted to see it. I pray that you would compel my heart by your Spirit to take time each day to acknowledge and praise you for the beautiful things in my life. As I do this, would you change my perspective? Would you shift the eyes of my heart away from the darkness and above to your glory? You display your glory in so many ways. Thank you that you are always in the details.  


Amen.