Real Thankfulness Doesn’t Depend on What You Receive

“Lord, if You bless me, I’ll thank You; but if You don’t, I’ll be thankful for what I have.”

– Phil Robertson


The Bible teaches that we should be thankful in all things. It’s easy to be thankful and have an attitude of gratitude when things are going great and everything is going your way. However, it is much more challenging to be thankful when nothing seems to be going right. It is very hard to be thankful when you’re going through a lot of pain, when you feel the crushing weight of debt, when you feel stressed, or when you see that people have it in for you. But this is precisely the kind of situation where we have to get down on our knees, close our eyes, focus on Jesus and say… “Thank you”. In such a situation, we exercise our faith. Faith is believing that God will be true to his word and carry you through, regardless of what you see. Faith is believing and acting that what you can’t see just yet will become visible sometime in the future.

Being thankful is an exercise of faith

When you find the strength to trust Jesus and be thankful, you are exercising your faith and growing it. Just like a muscle gets stronger and bigger when it is exercised, faith grows and becomes stronger when we flex it in the face of uncertainty, doubt, pain, and challenges. When you are able to be truly and sincerely thankful for all blessings in your life regardless of your circumstances, you are placing your full trust in Jesus Christ. Instead of asking yourself ‘what’s there to be thankful for?’ when you’re going through tough times, view this as an opportunity to trust God more and show your love for him more. Let’s face it, ‘trusting’ God only during good times, isn’t much of a show of faith at all. We’re nothing but fair-weather friends if that’s the extent of our trust, faith, and love. However, when the chips are down, that’s when we can give ourselves the opportunity to truly dig deep inside and trust God.

An Even Bigger Opportunity to Trust God

When God doesn’t bless us after we have prayed so much and endured so long, this is an even bigger opportunity to trust and love God more. Why is this an opportunity? We put ourselves in a position to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit, dwelling in our hearts, to fill us with love when the world doesn’t love us back. Feel joy when there’s nothing, at least in the world’s eyes, to be joyful about. In short, it enables us to develop God-centered character.

Original image source: cc-by Nicolas Raymond modifications: overlay texture, added text, cropped image