The Decision to Give Thanks
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2 NKJV)
How do you give thanks to God in the face of grief? How do you express your gratitude to Him during times of discouragement, disillusionment, and despair? Times when you certainly don’t feel grateful?
Saying “thanks” in vile circumstances is thorny…a painful action based on the will…a decision we make.
It’s more than trying to find something good in the midst of the bad. It means thanking God for the sheer awfulness of a situation or trial. That’s very difficult to do.
Sure, I can give thanks for all the positive things. I’m very grateful to our Creator for my beloved husband and my family, for health, for food/clothing/shelter, for good work, for the little privileges like sunshine and mountain vistas.
Yet God commands us to give thanks in everything. He is sovereign over our lives—allowing the good and the bad, as He sees fit, to shape us into the people He has chosen us to be. We can’t see His purposes. All we can do is trust in His constancy and goodness.
Often when I find myself in the midst of grief-laden events, my prayers become wooden—going through the motions, emotionless, prayed through tears. I offer up my wounded spirit to God. Like the father who asked Jesus to heal his demon-possessed son, I pray for help in my unbelief.
In doing so, I find consolation and strength in His presence, even when I am despondent. My heart grows warmer, more joyful, more peaceful in His presence.
Are you struggling through a time of thanklessness? Friend, put your hope in God. He knows your pain, and even when He is silent, He is working in your life. Say with the psalmist, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalm 42:11)
My prayer today is that, as you read this, you will find comfort in the decision to give thanks for the dreadful as well as wonderful things in your life. Set your mind and heart on Him, and praise Him in spite of discouragement. He has made it clear in His word that He loves you and will never leave you.
You can count on Him to redeem your life from the miry pit, plant your feet on firm ground, and fill your soul to the brim with gratitude.
Jesus, You are my Rock. When I come to You with a heavy heart, forlorn and abandoned, low on faith, please restore my trust in Your good plans. Plant seeds of gratitude in my soul, nurtured by Your Holy Spirit, to bear fruit for You. I thank You every day for who You are—my loving Savior and Friend. Give me new hope and strength to face difficult seasons. In Your name, Amen.
Nancy C. Williams grew up on “Nancy Drew” books…and occasionally still tells people her middle name is “Drew,” just to get their reaction. Following in the steps of the intrepid sleuth, Williams is an adventure enthusiast who loves hiking, snow-skiing, taking photos, sharing a good laugh, and enjoying a good mystery. She’s a history buff, too, with an affinity for antiques and fascinating stories from the past. Her writing career began with five years in the “Mad Men” world of ad agencies, crafting ads and commercials for ceiling fans, soft drinks, and pest control, among others. Then, during nearly a decade of editorial work at Federal Express headquarters, Williams traveled the globe (often in FedEx jet cockpits) and collected memories of international cultures. She also taught PR at a Christian college for a decade, sharing strategies and practices to the next generation of professionals. These days, blogs and novels are at the top of her “fun stuff to-do” list. She’s serious, though, about serving Jesus Christ…as a prayer warrior and writing for God’s glory, striving to encourage others on their spiritual journeys. When she’s not writing, look for her on the Appalachian Mountain trails with her beloved husband and mini-schnauzer. Follow her weekly posts at https://
The following Nancy C Williams a books are published by Celebrate Lit Publishing: