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.
Do Less, Live More: A Gratitude Journal (book)Product on sale
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?
Thank you for these great reminders during this difficult time. It’s easy to lose perspective when things are difficult.
Mamie L. PackSara
I agree Sara. It takes intentionality to keep a healthy perspective.
I love this so much! I def use scriptures and worship time to keep me grounded!
Mamie L. PackTiffany
That is awesome Tiffany!
Diffusing the Tension
These are really nice things to think about! Thanks for sharing these. I know they will bring lots of people comfort.
Mamie L. PackDiffusing the Tension
Thanks so much! Cultivating a grateful heart especially in this season is so important.
These are inspirational and uplifting! Thank you for taking the time to share this.
Mamie L. Packmayadreamin
Oh, thank you!
Mamie L. Packmayadreamin
Awww thanks so much.
I love these verses and the prayers that you’ve provided to go with them! I could definitely use the reminder to seek the Bible during these trying times!
Mamie L. Packacgougler
Thanks Amy! Using scripture keeps me grounded especially during challenging times.
Thanks Mamie l needed this today! Sometimes we try so hard to keep it all together but l know God wants us to bring our vulnerabilities to Him too. And l am so grateful that He brings so many wonderful people into our lives to encourage and redirect us to His throne.
It is so important to cultivate and maintain a grateful heart! For me, ‘praising’ helps me to get into this posture so much quicker than other ways. Thank you for this beautiful post Mamie! ❤
Thank you for these wise and practical tips. The scripture verses you chose are so helpful, and I really appreciate your prayer prompts!
Mamie L. Packcrossroadswithcarla
Thanks for reading!
Hannah | Tiny Joyful Treasures
Oh my goodness, I loved this so much! The older I have gotten, the more value I’ve seen in our perspective, intentional joy, intentional thankfulness, and keeping our eyes on Jesus constantly because He is the only thing that lasts. Easy to say, harder to do in practice but it does get easier to be in the habit with time. I’m pinning this for later reference! Thanks so much for sharing, Mamie 🥰️💕
Hi! Thank you so much for writing a piece that is so encouraging and timely. I love Philippians 4:8-9
Mamie L. PackAdriana
Thanks for reading!
Having a grateful heart is everything! I have learned that changing my attitude really does help how I look at things. Great post!
Mamie L. PackKim
Thanks Kim! Gratitude helps reshape our heart and reframe our mindset.
Back to school: 3 simple ways to prepare your child's heart for a new school year | Mamie L. Pack
[…] simply reflections of their hearts. Our responsibility as parents are to help guide them on how to cultivate a heart after God. As their hearts hunger for God, the ways of God, and an intimate relationship with God, […]
Love this! Keeping and cultivating a grateful heart is such an important part of capturing our thoughts. Thanks for these great reminders.
Mamie L. PackMegan
Thanks for reading Megan!
Hi! Thank you so much for bringing to our attention these amazing verses and prayers expressing gratefulness! I personally love Philippians 4:8-9.
Mamie L. PackAdriana
Wendy @ One Exceptional Life
These are great points backed up by wonderful scriptures that will help us to cultivate a grateful heart. We have so much to be thankful for yet it’s easy to let the idols we focus on distract us. Having a way to redirect when we’re veering off course will keep us focused.
This was such a beautiful read. I am a huge believer in having an attitude of gratitude. I try to post one thing a day that I am grateful for. Over the last 6 years, I have compiled quite a list. Blessings, Joni
Thank you for this encouraging post to cultivate a grateful heart in a challenging season. My current season is what people call “empty nest”. I’m challenged by your post to cultivate a thankful heart specifically in this season. I believe it will help because God calls us to be thankful in all things. Thank you, God bless you!
I love the layout of this article- explanation, scripture and prayer – it makes it so much easier to apply to our daily lives – so helpful
Mamie L. Packpurposefilledstories
Awww thanks. It’s important we read, study, apply and pray scripture.
Thank you for reminding us to get our minds off of our problems and back to God. These are great verses to keep our hearts grateful during difficult times.
Timothy R. Berman
It is amazing how scripture sheds light on ways we are able to continue to walk in faith. It is easy to show gratitude when life is not chaotic or challenging. It is something entirely different to show gratitude while facing adversity.
Mamie L. PackTimothy R. Berman
Yes. Showing gratitude in the face of adversity is necessary.
Jessie Q. Synan
I loved reading your suggestions for ways to cultivate a grateful heart! It is so important to keep our focus on the Lord.
Such great advice. Thank you. In a stressful season I tend to try and increase my praise and remember everything God has already done for me and how many ways He has taken care of me.
I agree with you that focusing only on the problem is not the best approach, we must be intentional in cultivating a heart of gratitude.
I loved this! I have definitely been thinking about cultivating a grateful heart when things get tough and your blog post came in such a timely fashion!
Mamie L. PackMichelle Ling
Aww, that awesome Michelle. Thanks for reading.
This is a Great guide for cultivating a grateful heart. I’ve been feeling quite anxious lately and you’ve reminded me that having focused time in the Word and in prayer will help to ease those anxieties as I lay my burdens before the Lord.
Mamie L. PackSummer
Sometimes we just need those gentle reminders to give it all to God.
These are great ways to cultivate our hearts to God. These can all be used together or separately in prayer.
So true that in order to cultivate a grateful heart, we have to adjust our hearts posture! I know so many times gratitude work suggests beginning with words whether that be affirmations or journaling, or even writing letters of gratitude to others. We are so blessed that God asks us to invite his help!
Mamie L. PackRachel Mayew
Cultivating a grateful heart definitely requires us to adjust our hearts. Thanks for stopping by Rachel!
I love your note about keeping a Kingdom perspective. That seriously changes how we see things.
Mamie L. PackAlonda Tanner
Keeping a kingdom perspective changes everything.
Something we always have to remind ourselves to do is to actively try to be more conscious of being grateful. In the world of today there is too much sceptical thought and people having to give their opinions that we get pulled away from just having a thankful heart for all God’s blessings and where better to go than to these verses.
Mamie L. PackSandra
Having a thankful heart toward all God is doing is essential to our daily walk.
This was a beautiful post thank you so much for sharing!!
Wow… So important to cultivate and maintain a grateful heart! Thanks for this sharing.
gratitude is so important right now. thanks for sharing!
Mamie L. PackAmy Senter
Gratitude helps us have the right perspective.