“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~Melody Beattie
There’s no doubt the world has become a different place in recent months, as COVID-19 has formed an unwanted battle we’ve been forced to join. And if we’re honest with ourselves, many of us have felt helpless in the fight!
We’ve struggled to maintain our balance against economic decline. We’ve stood by helplessly as many have fought for their lives. And we’ve been up against a wall of unprecedented challenges that have seemed too big to conquer.
But what if, instead of physical weapons, gratitude became our greatest defense? What if giving thanks in all circumstances—even during COVID-19—was the most effective stance we could take in this unwanted battle?
There is a way to combat negativity, fear, and uncertainty. And it all begins with a heart of gratitude. Here are a few ways gratitude can be your greatest weapon right now.
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1. Gratitude Is God’s Will for You
In Paul’s words to the Thessalonians, he said, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV).
Though easier said than done, the foundation for giving thanks in all things is rooted in God’s will for our lives. What better motivation than to know we are being obedient to God when we show gratitude through every season?
If you are struggling to bear arms of gratitude, try making a list of at least three things you are thankful for every day. Write them down, post them in a visible spot, and be greatly encouraged as your gratitude list begins to grow.
Don’t let the invisible army of COVID-19 invade the peace you have in Christ. Instead, focus on God’s will for your life and approach each day with a word of gratitude to Him.
Check out this gratitude journal—a 21-day challenge to more gratitude, deeper relationships, and greater joy.
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2. Gratitude Rejoices in the Face of Opposition
Perhaps, there was no other people group on earth who were more grateful than the Israelites, who were finally set free after seventy long years in captivity. Once they made the long trek back to Jerusalem, they were commissioned by God to rebuild the temple that had been demolished by the Babylonians. However, this commission was met with great opposition, and the Jews were challenged at every turn. Only with God’s help were they able to rebuild and finish their work with gratitude and praise.
“When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord: ’For He is good, for His mercy endures forever toward Israel.’ Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” (Ezra 3:10-11)
Gratitude, in the face of opposition, is a powerful weapon indeed. No matter what is coming at you, seemingly from all sides, you can hold the weapon of gratitude high, knowing God will make a way even when there seems to be no way.
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Miguel Bruna
3. Gratitude Declares the Praises of God
There are many opinions being shouted across the news headlines and social media platforms, and quite frankly, the noise is deafening. But there is one declaration that cannot be stated enough, and that is the declaration of praise to God.
“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.” (Psalm 147:7 NIV)
Gratitude rises above the chaotic shouts of the world and calms the hearts of those who offer it. Even during the most uncertain times, gratitude is the greatest weapon we can possess. And the best thing about gratitude is, it’s not a physical weapon that harms, but a spiritual weapon that heals.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Yakobchuk Olena
An Empowering Prayer of Gratitude:
Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth, we come to You with grateful hearts. Even in the midst of uncertainty and unrest, we come before You with gratitude and praise. We know, Lord, that nothing escapes Your sovereignty. Nothing is a mystery to You. And though we often feel helpless in a world that seems to be spinning out of control, we know without a doubt that You are God and You are good. So we take up the only weapon we have—a weapon of gratitude. We give thanks to You, Almighty God, for guarding us and guiding us through this season and every season to come.
In the holy name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Jennifer Waddle considers herself a Kansas girl, married to a Colorado hunk, with a heart to encourage women everywhere. She is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, and is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is EncouragementMama.com where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesn’t Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.
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Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Thitaree Sarmkasat
Originally published Thursday, 21 May 2020.