But I Have Nothing to Be Thankful For!

Gena sat on her bed, sobbing into her pillow. Bombarding her everywhere were signs that said, “Be thankful,” and quite frankly, she didn’t feel thankful. Her parents were on the verge of divorce, her boyfriend recently broke up with her, and she had just failed a math test.

I wish this season would just end, she thought to herself. I have nothing to be thankful for.

We’ve all felt that way, haven’t we? We lose sight of the good and can only focus on the bad. What should we do then? Here are three ideas.

1. Count.

A favorite song of mine is “Count Your Blessings.” It reminds me to not lose sight of the good things God has given me. Here’s the first verse:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

If you’re feeling ungrateful, make a list and count your blessings. Yes, an actual list! As you do, your spirit will lift and you can feel the hope of God comfort you. Even in the darkest of times, because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we always have something to be thankful for.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • I am allowed to worship God freely.
  • I have the opportunity to earn a free education.
  • I have shelter.
  • I have access to clean drinking water.
  • My heart is pumping.

Psalm 118:1 states, “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” Remembering to be thankful for all the Lord has done for you will make Him become more personal to you and help you see that He has not left you in your trial.

2. Worship.

Philippians 4:8 instructs us, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

When you are feeling sad or anxious, it becomes so easy to play sad sappy music, which only exacerbates our feelings. Instead, play your favorite worship music. This music reminds us of God’s faithfulness. It will give us the words to say when “thank you” doesn’t come easily.

3. Serve.

Service is a mandate for Christians. No, really. Check out Galatians 5:13:

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Or how about this?

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45).

Part of “living like Jesus” is serving others. When you serve, you bless others, and it lifts your spirits as well. (Bonus: It also keeps you around other people, which prevents you from being alone and continually revisiting your worries and anxieties.)

Serve a meal at a homeless shelter. Fill an Operation Christmas Child shoebox. Ring a bell at your local Salvation Army. You don’t have to look very hard to find something during the holiday season.

Always Thankful

If you are a Christian, there is always something for which to be thankful. (Hint: It’s Jesus!) When your feelings tell you can’t embrace this season of gratitude, count your blessings, crank up some worship music, and find a way to serve. Then watch and see how God changes your heart to be thankful.

Is there anything you all do when you’re feeling down to lift your spirit that isn’t mentioned above? Tell me in a comment below.

About Author

Sarah Garrett is a passionate educator and founder of the Transformed4More Ministries that she runs with her identical twin sister. It is her desire to reach struggling teenagers and tell them about the transformative power and love of God. Her book, "So, You Think You Are Ready to Date?" released in October 2017.

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