I’m not being dramatic when I tell you the practice of daily gratitude changed my life.
I didn’t start a gratitude journal to become some good Bible study girl.
I started it out of desperation.
I was in the hardest season of life, something I had never seen coming. My husband had died suddenly and I was now a single mom helping my children navigate their own deep grief.
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 recordedseven 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.
Join the Gratitude challenge and get your 30-day Gratitude Bible Reading Plan free here.
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.
Get your free 30-day Gratitude Bible reading plan here.
“Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thank you for this invitation
I am grateful!!
Please sign me up.
God Bless you and your loved ones daily!
I used to keep a gratitude journal & got out of the habit, this will be great to get me started again! Thank you so much for offering this!
Thank you for the invite.
Thank you. I love 1 Thess 5:18
Unity Folota says
For this, Id like to join this gratitude journal journey.
Thankyou for inviting.
Denise Puder says
Where do I find the blog/daily study?
I’ve done this in the past and life happened. I need gratitude. Thankyou for inviting me.
Lisa Appelo says
I get it, Brenda. Life can distract us but I’ve found 5 minutes for my gratitude journal is heart changing.
M Sue Moore says
I Thessalonians 5:18 has been and important part of our family life throughout the years…the children were teens when we started emphasizing it and now they are in/approaching their 60’s!
Here is a poem that helped me through some difficult times and encouraged me to start a thankful journal while it was necessary for my mother to be a nursing home resident…the most difficult decision I ever made in my life so far.I
I used notebook paper and wrote one-liners, because I couldn’t stop with just “Three Good Things”!
Three Good Things
When I lie in bed at the end of a day
That was long and sad and the clouds were gray,
I find it helps if I stop and say,
“What were three good things that happened today?”
It might have been a stranger’s smi1e,
Or a letter that came over many a mile,
A friend at the end of a telephone dial,
Just something that made the day worthwhile.
It could be a bargain I chanced to buy,
A craft or hobby I’m going to try,
A book that could make me laugh or cry,
A poem or story that made time fly.
It may be the maples touched with gold,
A hummingbird where the sweet peas grow,
An orange sunset with the mountains below,
The sound of rain, or the water’s flow.
It might be a memory from the past,
Some special face that I thought would last,
Or a mountain meadow so wide and vast,
Or a kindness done when I needed one, fast.
No matter how bad my day may be,
How rough the road, how wide the sea,
I thank my God on bended knee
For three good things that happened to me.
Rita Kullar Fischer
Leona Paygar says
I thank this is heart-changing I’m going to try it