How often we have been told that we should be thankful for what we have. And then we were quickly reminded of those who have little in worldly goods but who attest to being thankful. How did this make you feel? There are times in the lives of many when it is difficult to find anything for which to be thankful. And just the thought hammers us deeper into the abyss of hopelessness. Feeling thankless, as well as having nothing for which to be thankful, is a life without joy. The question remains: How to be thankful when nothing is going right? How can we express gratitude?
Ways to Find Gratitude
Thankful for the obvious.
If we sat down with a notepad, much like a child would do, we could make a list of things like a bed, food, house, clothing, etc. for which we are thankful. Even if we have no cash, we live in a world where either government agencies, organizations and churches care enough that basic food and clothing are available. And, if that is our plight, we learn to be thankful for the obvious.
Or we may own many houses and have enviable investments. Yet, no matter our wealth, it does not produce that deep thankfulness we desire to have – the type without anxiety. A thankfulness with contentment. An abiding inner peace.
The Type of Thankfulness That We Desire
The type of thankfulness that we deeply desire is if somehow we could know peace, contentment, a cure for loneliness, an absence of the burden of guilt and of fear of the unknown. If only we could know forgiveness and know that dying is not falling into eternal darkness or aloneness and horror. If we could only – If we could only have eternal life filled with love and forgiveness. If we could only know eternal joy. If only.
Yes! That’s it! We need a Savior.
This is the Answer
Billy Graham wrote: “In exchange for perplexity, [Christ] gives the blessed assurance of his grace and adequacy. In exchange for your anxiety, he gives you a confidence and trust that knows no bounds. In exchange for boredom, he will give you a bold, courageous, purposeful faith. In exchange for your sin, he will give you pardon and imparted holiness.” This is the answer.
When we receive this gift of grace and forgiveness through faith in Jesus the Christ, we also gain the capacity to acknowledge our freedom from guilt, to have the assurance of our sins being forgiven, and to know that when we die, we will immediately be in the presence of Jesus.
It is Amazing Grace
Our eternal future is amazing and beyond human comprehension. Believe what God has done because of His mercy and made available to us because of His amazing grace.
The fear of death then becomes perhaps a natural fear of the unknown; but the reality of God’s promise assures us that we will not be alone in the transition – as Jesus said to the dying thief on the cross “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Wondering How to be Thankful When Nothing is Going Right?
Even the times in our lives when we may be beat down, suffering terrifying illness, lonely, discouraged, forsaken – we can be thankful for the promise of God “I will never leave you” which is repeated in numerous books of the Bible. What greater gift is there for which to give thanks.
No matter the circumstance, we have the promise that we are never alone. Cry out to God in the name of Jesus. Our future, although unknown, is bright because of our faith, which is a gift – not of works, and that promise of God that He will never leave us.
Peace Leads to Thankfulness
“Peace” translates shalom, a very significant word in Jewish culture even today. It describes completeness, wholeness, health in every dimension of life. David knew that the source of true shalom for Israel and for the rest of the world lies in God, not in us. We must come to him with expectant, urgent, humble, repentant faith. We experience the peace that leads to thankfulness.
And when we do, God does what only he can do.
Charles Spurgeon observed, “By an act of faith, Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart. It is true that he gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin; he gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things, but we are not content with them; we have received Christ himself.’
When we believe and receive the eternal promise of God, we have the presence of God living within us. We rejoice and feel an immeasurable thankfulness. We become able to see reasons for being thankful in so many ways that previously had been lost in darkness. We joyfully begin to thank God for the beauty of the world, for loving and forgiving us, for the promise that he is always with us, and our thankful heart explodes with praise. And then, we are able to become a blessing to others. This is how to be thankful when nothing is going right.
If you desire to know the Savior, to be forgiven, to trust in His mercy and grace – click on the video below. Don’t miss out on this blessing. There is no other way to peace with God.
For more about gratitude please see the following: