November is often deemed the thankful month as it is the month that Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. It really is a great month as people post  on social media about what they are thankful for throughout the month. But as great as it is to see all this thankful stuff posted, our hearts may not always be in a “thankful” mood. In fact, our life may not be in a great state at all.

So what do you do when life isn’t going so great? Can you still be thankful? As hard as it may seem to be, I believe you can choose to be thankful. The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5:19-20 to “sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. He also says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 

Now I know that these may just seem like words, but the reality was that Paul was someone who experienced a lot of hardship in his life. He didn’t always have everything he wanted or desired. In fact, Paul was in prison multiple times totaling about 6 years of his life. He experienced hardship, but he choose to be thankful.

So how can we choose to be thankful? As hard as it may seem to be in the moment, there are plenty of things you can be thankful for. For instance:

  • Kindness from a friend or stranger. When was there a moment of kindness someone shared with you? Thank God for that moment.
  • A friend or family member. God does bless us with people in our lives that encourage us and help. Take some time to thank God for those people.
  • A song or saying. Songs and words of wisdom can inspire us. Thank God for a song or a saying that has encouraged and inspired you in the past.
  • Hobbies or work. What do you enjoy doing? Is it something at work or a personal hobby? Thank God for allowing you to do something you enjoy doing professionally or personally.
  • Sunsets and the beauty around us. We have a wonderful creator who has designed so much beauty around us. Take time today to thank God for the beauty around you and the sunsets you have gotten to experience.

These are just five of the many things we can choose to be thankful in our lives. I am sure there are plenty of other things in your life right now that you are thankful for. What else are you thankful for? How are you choosing to be thankful, even when it is hard sometimes? Share your thoughts below or with someone else today so that they can be encouraged as well.

– Tom