I had typed up a whole blog post that was nice and neat about acquiring a spirit of gratitude all throughout the year. It included three ways to stay in a posture of gratitude. It was good, but it wasn’t real. I realized it wasn’t authentic because this past week, I didn’t feel like giving thanks. If I had read that blog post this week, I would have laughed and rolled my eyes. For many of you, this time of year is a difficult one. For some, it’s been a tough year, or maybe it’s been a rough few years. The holidays don’t always bring up the same warm fuzzy feelings for all of us. It’s a time where we are supposed to be intentional about giving thanks right? I mean it’s Thanksgiving for Pete’s sake! So my question to you is this: How do you give thanks when you just don’t feel thankful?
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s been a hard week, but if I wanted to I could find many reasons to give thanks and be grateful. I mean, I got married to the love of my life just about a month ago. We have a great place to live in a city where we have many loved ones. I am loved, most importantly by God, but also by family and friends. We have food in our refrigerator and warm clothes to wear. But even in the midst of all these “blessings,” I didn’t want to give thanks. I wanted to throw a pity party and numb myself with some Real Housewives of New Jersey. Can anyone relate? I didn’t want to acknowledge the selfishness and the ugly in my heart. I definitely didn’t want to push past my feelings and give thanks in all circumstances. Do I sound like a whiny 2 year old yet? How do we give thanks when we just don’t feel like giving thanks?
When I took time to step away from The Real Housewives, move outside of my feelings and step into reality the same truth remains; God’s been, He is, and He will always be. There have been seasons in my life where giving thanks and staying in a posture of worship have been easy. These were the times where I felt truly thankful and it naturally overflowed from my heart and being. But, I can also look back and remember seasons where it was particularly painful and gratitude did not come naturally. In those seasons, where a heart of thanksgiving didn’t come naturally but I chose to worship in spite of the pain, things came alive in my heart. New dreams were birthed and there was a deeper bond that I developed with the Lord.
So, if you’re in this place, where worship and thanksgiving isn’t coming as naturally right now and it hurts to give thanks can I whisper a little truth to your heart? Turn off the TV, get off of social media, and tune into the Father’s heart. Be honest and open with Him because He knows where you’re at anyways, but He wants to hear it from you. It may feel uncomfortable and you may be gritting your teeth the whole time, but keep pressing in. Remind yourself of who God is and how faithful He has been in the past. Paul tells us in 1st Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. It was what we were created for. The enemy knows this and he will do whatever he can to keep you in a place where you don’t want to open up your mouth and give praise. Don’t let him win.
Our source as believers is Jesus Christ. He is our all in all, He is the reason we have life and,
“…in Him we live and move have our being (Acts 17:28).” No matter the season, no matter what we feel or don’t feel like there is always a reason to give thanks to the One who gave His all for us.
Be encouraged and empowered this week. If there is anything we can be doing to help you this week, we want to come along side you as well and help you in your season. Let us know how we can help by going to our Prayer Wall Here. You can post publicly or anonymously.
About Lauren Serrapica