We will have good times and we will have times of tribulation in life. As we are in the Thanksgiving holiday season and the approaching Christmas holiday season, many of us are filled with joy and yet many of us are facing great difficultly and uncertainty. Finding things to be thankful for may seem difficult for you amid a troubling time in life, but there is hope. Even if you have found yourself in a place of stagnancy with nothing getting better, you can find things to be thankful for. 

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV) says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known.” The Apostle Paul shares in this passage of scripture great encouragement not to be anxious but to pray earnestly with thanksgiving in our hearts. This means that we are expected to trade anxiety for prayer, while having a thankful heart. We do not have to ignore our needs in this time in order to be thankful. We can simultaneously tell God our prayer requests and also be thankful, regardless of our circumstances. 

A few years ago, over 10 of my family members, friends, and ministry co-laborers died over a short period of time. During that period, I also faced other heartbreaking life events that threatened to shatter me. One of the things that God led me to do during that time was to list things that I was thankful for every day. Some days it was hard to find something to be thankful for because I was filled with grief, but I would sit there until I thought of something. It may have been something as simple as listing “a bed to sleep in” or “I woke up this morning”. At other times it was listing profound revelations of things that I was thankful for such as “God is with me and comforting me”. On hard days I would go back and read the list as a reminder that I had much to be thankful for even as I walked through the grief process.  

No matter what our circumstances may be at this time, the Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV), In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We do not have to be thankful for bad things happening to us, but we can find things to be thankful for despite any difficult circumstances that we face.

Use the space below to write down five things that you are thankful for and consider continuing this exercise throughout the good and bad times in your life.  

Five Things I am Thankful for:

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  3. __________________________________________________________________________
  4. __________________________________________________________________________
  5. __________________________________________________________________________


Dayna Lovelady, M.Div., MBA, is a minister, intercessor, writer, musician, and conference speaker. She recently graduated from Regent University with a Master of Divinity degree and works full-time at The Christian Broadcasting Network. www.LinkedIn.com/in/DaynaLovelady

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