Life is difficult. Bad things happen, and challenges come every day. One of the best ways to meet those challenges with resilience, courage, and hope is to maintain an underlying attitude of gratitude.
You know you SHOULD be grateful. The Bible says, “In everything give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) And you really want to. But in the midst of problems it can be difficult to feel grateful.
It can help to step back and think about the good things you’ve been given. Here are a number of things you can be grateful for:
- Your children or grandchildren (some people don’t have any children)
- Your spouse (would you rather be single??)
- Your freedom (being single is not all bad)
- Your home (some people are homeless
- The wisdom you’ve gained through experience
- The computer or smart phone on which you’re reading this
- Other Christian believers to worship with
- A Bible to read (some Christians would be thrilled to have one!)
- The ability to read at all
- Eyes to see God’s beautiful creation
- Music, and ears to hear it with
- Professionals to help with just about any problem you have
- Information on just about any topic online, for free
- The ability to communicate with people you care about, anywhere in the world
- Being able to talk with God anywhere, anytime, in prayer
- The measure of health you have
- Waking up this morning, and the promise of waking up again tomorrow
- Your past is in the past, because of Jesus
- Your future is out of this world, because of Jesus
- The ability to feel, remember, think, know, and understand
- The choice about how you spend your time, and who to spend it with
- Opportunities for education in almost any area you’re interested in
- Forgiveness – from God, from others, from yourself
- The experience of love – from others, and from God
- The opportunity to have something to give – skills, things, and most of all love
- A thunderstorm, the beach, a mountain lake, a tree – God’s wonderful creation
- God’s offer to give you a new heart
- The opportunity to decide to do something different tomorrow than you did today
- The opportunity to see other people’s lives better because you were there
- Knowing the end of the story. (Here’s a clue: Jesus wins!!)
Your life may feel terrible right now. Your problems are real. But so is the fact that you’re still here. Some of the things on this list may not apply to you, but many certainly do. There are good things you wouldn’t have were it not for the goodness of God, and of others.
Take this opportunity to look for what’s good in your life, and to be grateful. I’m sure you can find many more things than I have on this list.
It really is A Wonderful Life.
Your Turn: What is something unusual in your life that you are grateful for? Leave a comment below.
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