A Shift of Focus in Hard Times
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Our hyper-connected world makes it easy to get sucked into drama, sad news, and wrongdoing. We tend to create our own stress from peering anxiously into the future or clutching tightly to past fears. Many times, my worries live only in my imagination. But in reality, job loss, divorce, and medical issues surprise us like a thief in the night.
It’s easy to be thankful when life is abundant, but what about during challenging circumstances?
Gratitude isn’t contingent on our circumstances; it’s praise for what God’s promised for our eternal circumstances. Think back to a time in your life when you thought the world as you knew it was ending. Reflecting now on that situation/period, how often do you think, “I was devastated, but through my faith in God, that event transformed my life”?
God didn’t promise us a trouble-free existence, but He did give us the means to overcome our troubles. In the midst of circumstances I don’t choose, He empowers me to be thankful in spite of it all by practicing gratitude as an antidote to anxiety. In the midst of difficult circumstances, He gives me a powerful choice: to focus on my pain or His purpose.
Gratitude fuels our ability to think beyond our feelings and ourselves and thank Him in advance for the life He has planned for us.
Somebody told me once, “It’s hard to be thinking about yourself when you’re looking across the Grand Canyon.”
Lord, when we find ourselves buried under the weight of temporary circumstances, help us shift our focus to the beauty already around us.
Being thankful may not change our situation, but it can change our heart as He works things together for a greater good (Rom. 8:28).
In good and troubling times, what are three God-given blessings you can you be thankful for?
Kelli Thompson is a gifted writer and speaker. First, a wife and mother, God called her out of Corporate America to start a business as a Life & Leadership Coach for women. Kelli loves to share insights about our everyday struggles and practical ideas to access the peace and confidence that God has waiting for us. Learn more at KelliRaeThompson.com.
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