Gratitude changes the perspective on life. Gratitude is a lifestyle that we can practice and train. There is always, in every situation, in every circumstance, in every crisis, at least one reason for which we can be thankful. We can become aware of what we can all be thankful for. Nothing can be taken for granted, everything is a gift.
Gratitude is humble enough to be given something. The proud only takes what is due to him. He refuses to receive a gift. ( Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
The Bible teaches us to be thankful, not only when we experience good things, but also in difficulties and hardships. Such an attitude helps us to better manage crises and to emerge stronger from them. We then no longer circle around the problem with our thoughts, but look for what can result from this situation, for a meaning. So there are different ways to deal with what happens to us. We can whine, complain, be dissatisfied, feel victimized, and sink into self-pity. The other possibility we have is to ask ourselves the following questions:
What does this situation want to show me?
What can I learn from it?
What am I thankful for in these circumstances?
What gives me hope
What can be good, what are the opportunities?
I like the story in the Bible of Paul and Silas in prison:
“After being beaten many times, the colonels sent them to prison and ordered the guard to keep them safe. At this command, he locked both of them in the innermost cell and locked their feet in the block.
It was around midnight when Paul and Silas prayed and praised God. The other prisoners listened. Suddenly the earth shook so violently that even the foundations of the prison were shaken. At the same time, all the doors opened and the chains fell off all the prisoners.
The prison guard woke up from sleep. And when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and wanted to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul cried out as loudly as he could: “Don’t harm yourself! We’re all still here! ”The guard called for light, plunged into prison, and trembled to the ground before Paul and Silas.
Then he led them out and asked, “Gentlemen, what do I have to do to be saved?” They said: “Believe in Jesus the Lord! Then you will be saved and your whole family with you. “
And they proclaimed the Lord’s message to him and to all who lived in his house. The prison guard took Paul and Silas the same night and washed their bloody streaks. Then he was baptized with everyone who lived in his house. Then he led the two up to his house and had the table set for them. He and everyone who belonged to him were overjoyed that they had found faith in God. “Acts 16: 23-40
Paul and Silas were in dark prison and they had every reason to be desperate, to complain and to lose hope. Instead, they praised and thanked God and sang songs to him. They didn’t look at their circumstances, but at God. They probably thanked God for what he had done in their lives and remembered his promises. Thanks to their gratitude and praise, their hearts were close to God and therefore they had peace and confidence. God himself was the reason for their joy. They were strongly connected to God, had trust. Her belief was so great that a strong earthquake even released the bonds from her feet. Faith thus changed not only their attitude but also the circumstances. They were released. And what I think is the best thing about the story is that Paul and Silas not only helped themselves through their attitudes, but also touched the prison guard. He experienced salvation through the testimony of the two and came to believe in Jesus.
In difficult times, I am especially grateful that I have Jesus at my side, that I don’t have to confront the situations on my own. Being a child of God and being allowed to live in relationship with him is the greatest gift of my life. It gives me support and comfort and the courage to go on. His love carries me and never leaves me alone. It gives hope in every situation.
When I look back, I’m grateful for the difficult times. Because exactly in these times God was very close to me and the relationship with him has grown.
So I no longer see the crisis as a threat, no, it’s an opportunity. The chance to take God’s loving hand and go on with him …
“Always be happy, pray without ceasing, be thankful in all things; for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1. Thessalonians 5, 16-18
“Do not worry about anything, but in all things let your requests in prayer and supplication be expressed with thanksgiving to God! And the peace of God, which is higher than all reason, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4, 6-7
“Be persistent in prayer and watch with thanksgiving! Colossians 4.2
I thank the Lord with all my heart
and tell all your miracles” Psalm 9.2
Gratitude seeks the giver over the gift. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I thank you my Lord and my God, you are the creator of heaven and earth, through you I may live. You gave me life and I can be your child to live with you. I thank you my Lord and my God, your love envelops me, your light surrounds me, your power protects me and your presence watches over me. You created me for relationships in your image, you set me aside valuable people. I thank you my Lord and my God, you are the giver of all good gifts. You gave me talents to use them for you and my fellow human beings. You are generous and rich. You are my provider at all times, your care never stops. You are gracious and mighty Lord, an unshakable rock forever. I thank you my Lord and my God for your word, which is truth and shows me the way to life and fills my heart with joy. You are faithful to God and the hope of the world. I thank you my Lord and my God, through Jesus Christ you have given me new life that will not go away forever and will overcome death. Jesus lives in me and the Holy Spirit helps me. I thank you my lord and my god, you paid for my debt, through you I am free. In my deepest need you were with me and freed me from fear and worry. In challenges and difficulties you are there and let everything work for the good. I thank you my Lord and my God who saves, redeems and liberates. Blessed is he whose roots are in the Lord, the Eternal God, for he is safe with you. Hallelujah, I will always praise the Lord!