It’s easy to thank God when everything is going right, but it gets a little harder when times are tough. When we also have been called to minister to children who want to always follow our examples, it can seem almost impossible. Every children’s pastor knows being in ministry doesn’t exempt you from trials and difficulties. Instead, children’s pastors are often attacked by the enemy in ways other people aren’t.
But even during tough times, God wants us to have a thankful attitude because He has blessed us. The Pilgrims started Thanksgiving in America with a feast to thank God. But things didn’t go well for them. Half of the people who traveled over on the Mayflower died the first winter. Yet they still set aside time to thank God because they knew they were blessed by Jesus dying on the cross for their sins.
How to be thankful in hard times: Bring our hurts to God.
Everyone goes through hard times. The reason some people get though them relatively unscathed is because they bring their hurt and pain to God instead of worrying about them and trust in Him to heal them. God didn’t only promise physical heal but emotional healing as well.
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Rehearse the blessing of God.
Use a journal to write what God has done for you. Go over it when you can’t remember the blessings of God.
Psalm 103:1-2 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Joyce Meyer has a saying that you need to think about what you’re thinking about. That’s true. Many times we aren’t thankful because we dwell on negative thoughts that pop into our heads instead of focusing on the good things God has done for us.
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Read God’s Promises in Scripture.
The way to have enough faith to be thankful is to spend time reading the promises of God. He is faithful to His promises.
Isaiah 55:9-11 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Spend time praising God each day.
In the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, he began and ended with praise. If we want to have a thankful attitude, we need to spend time praising God every day and not only telling Him our needs.
Psalm 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.