Three tips to go deeper

Yesterday I shared the powerful story of Corrie ten Boom and her ability to be thankful even in hellish experiences.

Following the lead of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 where Paul says to “give thank in all circumstances,” she was even able to thank God for the fleas in a World War Two concentration camp. It might seem strange, but they enabled her to help and minister to so many people.

(If you’re scratching your head at what I just said you might need to read yesterday’s Up! which gives you the background.)

In light of Corrie’s inspiring example, I’d like to give you a few ideas to help you go deeper with your own gratitude.

The reason it makes a difference is because when you intentionally cultivate gratitude, you become better able to handle adversity.

First, make a list. When you’re having a terrible week, sit down and make a list of what you’re thankful for. Life itself… a home… coffee… enough money for groceries…

Second, you can go for a walk (or drive) and simply recite what you’re thankful for. Your car… fresh air… the gift of music to soothe your soul…

Third, when it comes to your prayer life, you can spend several days just offering prayers of thanksgiving. ‘Thank you, God, for what Jesus did for us… for faith… for my friend who is always willing to listen…’

When you’re feeling very UN-grateful, I know this stuff is hard. It’s probably the last thing you want to do. But when you intentionally cultivate gratitude, your faith grows. Why? Because you’re consciously reminding yourself of three of God’s promises.

That no matter what you’re going through he’s always loving you.
That no matter what you’re going through he’s always providing for you.
That no matter what you’re going through he’s always guiding you.

And that helps you handle whatever (temporary) adversity you’re dealing with. So when you’re having a tough week, intentionally go deeper with your gratitude. It’ll make you stronger and remind you that God is still at work.

It’s hard to be faithful if you’re not thankful.

By Matthew Ruttan

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