5 scriptures to cultivate a grateful heart in a challenging season
When you are in a challenging season, being able to cultivate a grateful heart can seem almost impossible. Sometimes life is hard and keeping the right perspective can seem just out of reach.
There have been several seasons when life wasn’t going the way I planned. I was often frustrated, disappointed, and, at times, just angry. I’ve sat on the side of my bed, crying, full of questions.
Why is this happening to me?
How many times do I have to go through this?
When will things finally start to change?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on our problems in challenging seasons instead of focusing on God. When we place our focus on our difficulties, our words become full of complaints, sarcasm, and pain. We talk more about what we are going through instead of speaking God’s truth over our situations.
To change our words, we must begin cultivating a grateful heart for God even in our challenging seasons. In scripture, God has provided us a blueprint explaining how we can walk through even the most difficult seasons with gratitude, hope, and praise. We can choose to be led by the truth of God’s word, or we can be overwhelmed by the circumstances.
The choice is ours.
Choosing to cultivate a grateful heart in challenging seasons requires a series of daily decisions to see and seek God in our daily lives through His word. We can use these five scriptures to plant the seed of God’s word in our hearts so we can begin to cultivate a grateful heart.
Cultivate a grateful heart by spending time in the Bible.
For God’s word to take root in our hearts, we must spend intentional time reading, studying, and meditating on His word. His word is a guide aligning us with His will and purging those behaviors in us that separate us from an intimate relationship with Christ. We strengthen our faith when we spend time in His word learning about His will and His character. When we know who God is, we can have peace, even in life is hard.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4: 8-9
Prayer: Lord, reveal yourself to me and fill me with your presence. I hunger for Your word and Your ways. Give me the strength to cultivate a grateful heart in my challenging seasons. You know my heart and hear me in my distress. Thank you for your word to guide me.
Cultivate a grateful heart by remembering what God has already done.
We can cultivate a grateful heart during challenging seasons by taking the time to remember all God has already done. Take time to reflect on your testimonies of the times God has protected, provided, and restored you in other seasons. Talk about the wonderful things He has done in your life and those around you. Focus your conversation on sharing His wondrous deeds in your life, and you will find you don’t have room for complaints. Friend, it’s hard to be ungrateful when you take the time to see what God has already done in your life.
Remember [with awe and gratitude] the wonderful things which He has done, His amazing deeds and the judgements uttered by His mouth [on His enemies, as in Egypt]. Psalms 105:5 AMP
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the wonderful things (name them individually) you have done in my life. Thank you for the amazing ways you continuously show up in my life.
Cultivate a grateful heart by keeping a kingdom perspective.
Keeping a kingdom perspective is vital to thriving in a challenging season. A kingdom perspective reminds us to keep our eyes on doing eternal work instead of reacting to temporary inconveniences. We recognize God is moving even when we don’t understand. We surrender our desire to hijack God’s plan because we trust and believe in God’s character. Kingdom perspective will change everything even when nothing around you has changed.
“Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God; It is HE who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalms 100:3
Prayer: Lord, help me to see that everything you have created is good even on challenging days. Help me to see my situations through a kingdom perspective, trusting Your intricate plan for my life. Let my days and my ways be led by you.
Cultivate a grateful heart with praise.
Even in the most challenging situations and challenging moments, I can still choose to focus my words on praising God’s Holy name. Instead of talking about my problems, I praise God for who He is. I remind myself God is Adoni (master over all), Elohim Chaseddi (The God of my mercy), Elohei Tehillati (God of My Praise), and so much more. I
“I will exalt YOU, my God, O King, And [with gratitude and submissive wonder] I will bless Your name forever and ever.” Psalms 145: 6 AMP
Prayer: Lord, I choose to exalt YOU over any situation I am enduring. I choose to use my words to bless Your name instead of focusing on my problems and difficulties. You are my God, my King, and my Lord.
Cultivate a grateful heart through repentance.
Those times the Holy Spirit reveals to me I am more focused on making an idol of my problems than keeping Christ the center of my life, I realize I need change. Change starts for me by acknowledging my unhealthy thoughts and behaviors, bringing those thoughts to Christ, and surrendering to Him the weight of my insecurities. When I choose to humble myself before God tenderizes my heart and makes room for gratitude toward Christ.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for my ungrateful heart and attitude toward you. I repent for making my situations an idol in my heart. Help me to see my circumstances through your eyes and to keep my focus on you. I choose to praise you in whatever I do and in every season.
Friend, even in the most challenging place, we can cry out to God, “Lord, help me to cultivate a grateful heart,” God is gracious and loving to meet us right where we are.
Remember, we have a journal to help you develop a regular habit of cultivating gratitude in your life with our Do Less, Live More: A Gratitude Journal.
How do you cultivate a grateful heart in a challenging season?