I’m not being dramatic when I tell you the practice of daily gratitude changed my life.
I didn’t start a gratitude journal because I wanted to become some kind of good Bible study girl.
I started counting thanks in desperation.
I was in the hardest season of life, a season I’d never seen coming. My husband had died suddenly and I overnight I became a widow and single mom to seven. I was navigating my own grief and trying to shepherd my children through theirs.
Life felt unbearably bad and I desperately needed to see good.
We sing all the songs about God’s goodness and we’re quick to say God is good when life feels good.
But what about when we’re facing deep disappointment? What about when there’s shattering loss or a diagnosis or pain caused by someone you should have been able to trust?
The Bible promises God is good. When life fell apart, I needed to see it. I needed to see God’s hand on me and around me, to know God cared for me and that His goodness was there even in the hardest circumstance.
So I began a simple daily practice of gratitude.
A Gratitude Challenge
I got a new journal, opened it to the first page and recorded seven things for which I was thankful. I started doing that every day, finding a pocket of time after my kids had started school while I was in the quiet of my van.
What started on that first day became the first month of near daily thanks. I kept going. Every morning, I’d think back over the day before and remember small things or big things I was thankful for.
Those 5 minutes given to gratitude each day changed everything.
- My eyes were opened to see God’s hand all around me.
- I saw in small details how personally and tenderly God cares for us.
- I found God’s goodness present in the pain, not after.
- I began to have a steadying peace despite all the unknowns in my future.
- My faith grew by leaps and bounds as I saw all the ways God was fulfilling promises.
Daily gratitude forced me to lift my eyes off my pain and my circumstances and fix them on God.
A simple gratitude challenge proved over and over that God is a good, good Father even when life feels bad.
Free Gratitude Bible Reading Plan
Do you want the power of gratitude at work in your life?
I’ve pulled together some of my favorite thankfulness scriptures to create a free 30-day gratitude Bible reading plan.
This Bible reading plan has a daily Bible verse or short passage to show us why we give thanks, how to give thanks and when to give thanks. The Bible reading plan includes a few stories highlighting those in the Bible who gave thanks–and those who didn’t.
You’ll also get encouragement from me along the way delivered right to your inbox, to check in on the challenge or unpack the scripture reading.
If you want to cultivate more gratitude in your life or you want to capture all the good God is doing around you, start the 30-day Gratitude Challenge.
Step 1 is to sign up here to get your free Gratitude Bible Reading Plan.
Step 2 is to pray and ask God to open your eyes to see His grace, His hand, His care, even His humor.
This I know — cultivating a heart of gratitude will change you.
You will be different 30 days from now.
Gratitude doesn’t change our circumstances but it changes our perspective in those circumstances. Gratitude changes our hearts. Gratitude forever impacts the words we use, the responses we make and the faith we have.
“Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18