Thursday, November 10, 2022

When Gratitude Feels Hard


By: Donna Bucher

The month of November often turns our thoughts towards gratitude. Considering the many benefits of gratitude physically, emotionally, and spiritually, centering our thoughts upon thanksgiving every month seems in order.

Sadly, I take many things for granted each day. Perhaps everyone struggles in this way from time to time. But sometimes, gratitude simply feels hard or distant.


Many reasons contribute to gratitude feeling hard; life’s complications, bring the unpredictable and harsh sometimes. While we know we should be more thankful, at the same time we may be dealing with loss or suffering.

Yes, we can always look on the bright side, and find something for which to be thankful. But what about those times when gratitude feels too hard?


Let me encourage you, everyone feels that way at some point, and please know it's okayI often encounter people this time of year who harbor guilt because they fail to feel as thankful as they think they should.

God knows we will struggle and has given us the language of lament in the Psalms. Almost one half of the 150 Psalms are actual psalms of lament, while almost three-fourths of them contain elements of lament.

These psalms portray real pain and anguish, but they are not tantrums or incoherent ramblings of self- pity or indignation. They contain words of deep emotion for the times when we have no words of our own to speak; they give us words when our words fail.

Psalms of lament begin in hopelessness, but often end in hope and praise. When we pass through a season for offering gratitude, we can use the language of lament to approach God with our heart's burden.


When you struggle to express gratitude, remember the following:

Be kind to yourself. Offer the same kindness to yourself that you would a good friend struggling with the same problem.

Cry out to God. Tell God what you are feeling, not in a rant, but from a place of humility. Give Him your despair and sadness. Allow yourself to feel the emotions within your heart and share them with Him. (Psalm 42:2-3 and Psalm 42:9-10)

Ask God for help. Humbly ask God to intervene in your situation, to open your eyes to His goodness, to strengthen your heart in your journey. Seek Him for renewing joy, gladness, and gratitude, that you may once again praise Him. (Psalm 142:6-7)

Respond in Trust and Praise. As a child of God, He promises to hear you and never leave you. Remember what He has done in the past for you to bring hope to your situation. By faith offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving knowing He will undertake for you to restore you and enable you to embrace your situation with gratitude. (Psalm 13:5-6)


Perhaps you are joyfully participating in this season of giving thanks; but maybe life has been difficult for you recently, or you are feeling a sense of loss or grief. Wherever you are right now, feel God’s nearness, resting in His perfect knowledge of your heart and situation. Take your heaviness to Him, allowing Him to restore the joy of thanksgiving to you today.


If gratitude feels hard for you right now, how can you rest and draw near to God?

What would crying out to God today look like for you?


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1 comment:

  1. I post a One Daily Positive every day and link up with a weekly blog post


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