Being Grateful In The Everyday

child handing dandelion to adult woman

When the car is in the shop and you’re trying to juggle transportation, when the serious medical diagnosis comes, when money is tight, when business is slow and employees don’t want to come to work, when the harvest isn’t coming in like you’d hoped…

It’s understandable that when any variation or combination of the above is happening in your life, it’s hard to find the wherewithal for being grateful. 

But gratitude is such a vital thing to have for so many reasons.

What Does Being Grateful Mean And Why Is It So Important?

Gratitude is how we express our thankfulness. The Thanksgiving month of November is the most common time to think about being grateful, but it shouldn’t be the only time of year we make a practice of being grateful.

Christians are instructed in the Bible to be thankful in everything. The Message Bible in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, tells us to “thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”

By thanking God no matter what happens, we are showing Him that we depend on Him and that we understand that our every breath comes from Him. 

And when that “no matter what” is happening, we can always find something to thank Him for when we are following God’s directions obediently, and looking for His works in our lives. 

I think maybe “the looking” is the key. If we are focused on whatever is happening that wasn’t our first choice (or our last choice, for that matter), then we may be forgetting to look for all that we have to be grateful for.

But when we are actively looking for things to be grateful for, they are truly there, maybe not obvious or standing out, but there, before our eyes, just the same. 

How Can I Have Gratitude In My Life?

I have read that gratitude is a lost art. But if being grateful isn’t coming easily, can we revive it? Can we live with an attitude of thanksgiving, being grateful, every day of our lives? And if it is possible, how?

There are a couple of different ways of being grateful:

Being Grateful For What You Have

This part is the easiest. We can look all around us and actually see reasons for being grateful. Our homes, our families, our cars, our food. 

And although the same things that we have to be grateful for can also be the objects of our discontentment, we can see how being grateful and being ungrateful are closely related, often separated only by a mood or an emotional moment. 

We can say we have these people and things because the Lord has been good to us. And we would be right. But what about another aspect of God, besides that of ‘provider of good things’?

Being Grateful For Who God Is

God has promised us many things in the Bible, as we can read about in 17 Promises Of God For Past, Present, And Future.

He is for sure our protector, our provider, the very object of our worship, our God, the lifter of our heads, our healer. He is the one who puts the beauty before our eyes, and gives us something always and in everything to be thankful for. 

But what about those days, weeks, months, or even years, when God doesn’t seem to be providing for us, isn’t showering us with obvious good things? Are we still going to consciously choose being grateful?

Maybe in these times, we need to ask ourselves the question: “What if nothing ever changes? Will I still praise God? If so, what in the world will I praise Him for?”

God is God. And as above, He is the object of our worship, whether our lives look like a fairy tale or a train wreck in the moment. 

Being grateful in life is something that we can do, in times of ease and in times when being grateful is a fist-clenching, tear-jerking decision and choice. 

Benefits Of Gratitude

The more things we notice to be thankful for, the more we continue to notice. Being grateful becomes a good habit that is rewarded time after time. 

Being grateful lifts the mood. I’ve noticed that when I’m feeling down, I can be pretty negative in my thinking. But when I force myself to find something to be thankful for, my mood gets an amazing boost. 

When we are thankful, we are less negative, which in turn has a positive effect on those around us and our relationships with them. 

Some studies have shown that people who are grateful have fewer health problems and sleep better than those who are not. 

Being grateful in our own lives also can protect us from that comparison game, in the Bible called envy or coveting. When we realized how blessed we are we tend not to feel the need to compare ourselves or our lives with others.  

Quotes About Being Grateful

One quality that is highly looked upon, and that makes the biggest difference in life, is that of being grateful in the good and in the bad, the positive and the negative.

being grateful quote by Ann Voskamp
being grateful quote by Ann Voskamp
being grateful quote by Epictetus
being grateful quote by Ann Voskamp

Want to see more quotes on being grateful? Try The Power Of Gratitude: 20 Quotes That Inspire Thankfulness

Bible Verses About Being Grateful

The Bible has plenty to say about being grateful and thankful. (the following verses are from the ESV Bible and the CSB Bible, italics my own)

1 Chronicles 16:8

Give thanks to the Lord; call on his name; proclaim his deeds among the peoples. (CSB)

Psalm 7:17

I will thank the Lord for his righteousness; I will sing about the name of the Lord most High. (CSB)

Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (ESV)

Psalm 95:1-3

Oh let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (ESV)

Psalm 118:29

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. (CSB)

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (CSB)

2 Corinthians 4:15

Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. (CSB)

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (ESV)

Colossians 2:6-7

So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just a you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude. (CSB)

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another though psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (CSB)

Colossians 4:2

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (ESV)

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (ESV)

1 Timothy 4:4-5

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. (ESV)

Hebrews 12:28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (CSB)

Revelation 11:16-17

The twenty-four elders who were seated before God on their thrones, fell facedown and worshiped God, saying, “We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty, who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.” (CSB)

Gratitude Leads To contentment

Contentment and gratitude are not quite the same, but being grateful has such an influence on our very lives, that it leads to contentment.

5 Secrets To Living A Life Of Contentment may help if you’ve found yourself in a rut, struggling with being grateful and finding contentment.

I fully understand that being grateful can seem impossible at times. But if you will just start small, give thanks for one little thing, then another, and another, you will be surprised how many things you find in your everyday life to be thankful for.

If we (and yes I am speaking to myself as well, or especially) will put in the work to develop the habit of being grateful, I promise we will see a difference in our attitudes and even our lives.

I have a confession to make: As I end this message, I realize that I needed to put this into words every bit as much as or more than anyone else reading it. Sisters, being grateful is truly a life-changing, world-changing habit!

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