This post is by Lindsey Bell.
Gratitude isn’t always easy.
There are some seasons in life when it feels downright impossible.
Ten years ago, I was in the middle of one of these seasons.
I can still vividly remember sitting in church four days before Thanksgiving. A song came on, and I rushed out of the auditorium on the verge of tears. I closed myself into the bathroom stall and wept.
We had just lost our 4th baby in the span of about two years, and I was devastated.
And feeling like God had completely turned His back on me.
I was anything BUT grateful.
I honestly didn’t feel at that time like I had anything to be grateful FOR.
I had allowed the tragedies of my life to consume me…to lie to me…to tell me that God wasn’t good and that He didn’t care for me.
Thinking about the way Satan lied to me back then reminds me of the lie he told Eve at the very beginning of time in Genesis 3.
Genesis 3:1-5 reads:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’
The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’
‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’” (NIV).
The serpent led the woman to doubt God’s goodness.
Looking back now, I can see that Satan led me to those exact same doubts.
I wonder if you have ever battled similar questions?
I wonder if Satan has ever led you to question God’s goodness or to ask yourself, “If God were really good, He wouldn’t allow this, would He?”
I don’t know what brought you to this blog post today, but whatever it is, I want to offer 3 quick tips to help you find gratitude when gratitude is hard to find.
1.Write down things you are thankful for each day (especially on the hard days when these things are challenging to find).
Have you ever read Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts?
In that book, Ann explained that we don’t give thanks only when we feel thankful. Rather, we give thanks and in doing so, find even more reasons to be thankful.
Sometimes, it’s the very act of giving thanks that creates feelings of gratitude.
2. Tell yourself the TRUTH, even if it doesn’t feel true at the moment.
What we allow our minds to linger on matters. So don’t allow your mind to linger on thoughts or feelings that are contrary to God’s Word.
“Take captive every thought,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us.
3. Voice the pain.
I’ve been reading the Psalms a lot lately, and I’ve noticed a pattern. Many times, the Psalmist begins with desperate pleading to God, and ends with praise. It’s as if he needed to voice the pain to work through it.
Voicing the pain can enable us to work through it too, especially when we are voicing it to the One who already knows about it anyway.
Gratitude can be hard to find, but it’s in these moments - when it feels like there’s little to be thankful for - that we need it most.
About Lindsey Bell
Lindsey is the author of two books, Unbeaten and Searching for Sanity. She is a contributing author to various other books including: Hello Mornings Bible studies, the Abba’s Heart devotional collection, and the Big Dreams from Small Spaces devotional. Lindsey’s desire is to inspire and encourage women through honest dialogue about faith, family, and learning to love the life she’s been given.
As a woman who has lost four babies to miscarriage, Lindsey loves helping others find God in the midst of heartache. Find Lindsey online at www.lindseymbell.com.
Lindsey lives with her once-high-school-sweetheart-now-husband, Keith, her two children, and her dog that never leaves her side, Champion. She’s an avid reader and a lover of all things chocolate. With teenage children, Lindsey is busy shuttling them around to their various activities, attending baseball and football games, and watching them grow up WAY too fast!
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