how to be thankful when you don’t feel like it

Back in October, on the Sunday of our Thanksgiving weekend, I heard a really great sermon.  The Pastor talked about being thankful even when we feel like there is nothing to be thankful for.  Her sermon was so great I decided to paraphrase it and repost here.

It’s easy to complain about things that don’t go our way…we were late for a function, our vehicle is making a funny noise, the grocery store ran out of an item we needed, we forgot to pay a bill, etc.  In times like that the last thing we want to do is give thanks to God.  We probably don’t feel like praying either, but if we do it’s pretty likely we are asking Him to fix something or stop it from happening again.  How often do we stop and praise God during our tough situations?

Thanksgiving is a time of year almost everyone is thankful for something, whether it be family, friends, or good food. But sometimes it can be hard to be thankful when it seems like nothing if going right in life.  It’s important for us to remember that someone will always have more than us, just as there will always be people will less.


Here are 3 things to give thanks for, even if you don’t feel very thankful:

  1. God’s presence. God is everywhere, all the time (Psalms 139: 7-12)!  He knows where we are and what we are doing and He is always watching out for us.
  2. God’s provision. Do you have a roof over your head?  Food to eat?  Friends and family who love you?  A source of income?  A church you feel comfortable at? God knows what we need and provides it to us (Matthew 6:26).
  3. God’s purpose. Sometimes it can feel like we are just killing time on earth, wandering aimlessly in life with no real purpose, but God has a plan for us even if we can’t see it yet (Jeremiah 29:11).  You do not have less of a purpose than someone like a Pastor or a missionary; your purpose may be to tell one friend about Jesus.  Your purpose may be to teach people, to be a good listener, volunteer at your church, etc…Not all purposes have to be grand and elaborate!  Take comfort knowing that God is working in your life everyday and you are important to Him.

A simple prayer incorporating the above points might go something like this:
Dear God, sometimes I struggle to be thankful but today I want to say thank you for what you have done for me.  Thank you for always watching out for me, for providing me with a home and a loving family.  Thank you for giving me a purpose in life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Friends, God truly is good.  I hope my post encourages you to look for things to give thanks for, even when life seems tough. To my readers who are not believers: I invite you to comment below with any questions you may have about this post (or you can send me a private e-mail at

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

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