What To Do When You Don’t Feel Grateful

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There are days, and we all have them, when we wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Days when we just don’t feel thankful. Worse than that, we don’t even see what we should be thankful for!

What to do when you don't feel grateful - This surprising little prayer may be just the ticket to turn your heart and your attitude around!

When I Don’t Feel Grateful – Before

And on those days, no matter what the weather outside, our hearts are gray, our minds are cloudy, and our thoughts dripping with self-pity.

We grumble and groan about picking up dirty socks (again), being behind on the laundry (and it’s only Monday!), having to answer the “What’s for supper?” question (with no answer) (for the millionth time), perhaps moderating yet another quarrel between the kiddos, and scrolling through Facebook only to see how stellar everyone else’s life is…

During those times we might pause in our self-defeating diatribe only after mumbling “Whatever…” (A word that you may relate to if you have teens around you all day…)

Oh…my…goodness… How that common teenage response has irked me (when said by someone other than myself, of course!). Usually delivered with a “yeah-I don’t-really-care-what-you-think-or-have-to-say” attitude, it is the modern-day equivalent of delivering the same message. And if I’m to be honest, I deliver it, to my almighty Father, the author of everything good in life, with the same snarky attitude. In God’s mercy, however, I recently had a personal revelation that has actually helped me turn my use of that word around a full 180 degrees! But let me explain…

Contentment has been a big issue in my life recently. Not only have I been pondering it, but it has come up in discussions with random people out-of-the-blue and been a topic I’ve seen in various books and magazines I’ve come across. Clearly, God’s trying to teach me something!

When I Don’t Feel Grateful – Revised

So I took a look at what Paul says about it in the Scriptures. Already familiar with Philippians 4:13, encouraging us to “do all things”, the line just prior to that verse jumped out to me:

…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Phil 4:11b-12

Paul has learned to be content…whatever…

Now I understand that this is NOT what the average teenager is saying when using this response to a well-meaning parent or authority figure. And it’s certainly not the meaning I may ascribe to it when I mutter it under my breath on one of  “those” days. But the word no longer irks me. In fact, I realize that I need to use it with more frequency in my own prayers and pleas to the Father.

“Lord, whatever you send me…whatever I will go through today…whatever perceived trials I may face…whatever challenging people or issues I will need to deal with…whatever feast or famine I experience…whatever valley I need to cross…may my unceasing prayer be that of gratitude for your unfailing love and faithfulness and mercy in my life. May I always seek more of you, and look less and less to my circumstances…whatever they may be.”

Paul learned to be content – and grateful – in circumstances much more difficult than most of us will ever face.

This is my prayer for you and me today, as well.

What about you? Are you finding that you’re needing a little re-vamp of the word – or maybe your attitude about your circumstances? Bring it to the Lord – He can handle it! And if you need some encouragement, please let us know in the comments…

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3 Comments

  1. Since I started praying what happens when women pray the promises of cross, my life has changed for the better, I now study my Bible and closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. Thank you for sharing this “what if I’m not gratefull? – whatever sircumstances I meet today, Lord thank You for your everlasting love and being with me in thouse moments and help me to speak about thouse to you not complaining to others. Lord help me with my attitude in every situation. That I pray in Jesus name, amen.

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