“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV
I find it so easy to be thankful when everything is going well. When my prayers are being answered; when things that I've been visualizing are physically manifesting themselves in my life; and when I'm executing the plans and achieving the goals that I've set for myself, it's easy for me to be thankful. However, I find it more challenging to be thankful when things aren't going so well in my life.
How about you?
Do you find it easy to give thanks when your day is going well? You’re wearing your favorite t-shirt. You got a great parking spot. Your coffee is the perfect temperature with just the right mix of sugar and creamer. You get lots of likes on the selfie you posted to Instagram.
But what about those moments when things aren’t going so well? You spill your coffee on your jeans. You have to wait in a long line of customers at the bank or grocery store. You realize the battery in your smartphone is dead.
In moments like these, giving thanks is difficult. But giving thanks is also essential if you want to navigate these experiences with a positive outlook. This doesn’t mean being phony or pasting on a smile no matter what.
Rather, it’s about taking a moment to shift your focus. Instead of grumbling about the long line of customers, thank God for the cashier and pray for her family. When your smartphone needs a charge, thank God for all of the impressive technology to which you have access. Put differently, shift your focus by choosing to turn the uncomfortable moments in life into thankfulness.
God, when I’m tempted to complain and grumble, help to stop and shift my focus. I want to be someone who lives in continual gratitude. Let me never lose sight of the blessings You’ve poured out on me. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. Danny Murphy, SR.
The ultimate aim is to equip and empower our member congregations to become communities of faith, hope, love, witness and service, so that those who do not know Jesus might come to know, love and serve him and so that those who do know Jesus might come to love him more intimately and serve him more faithfully.