There is no denying that times are tough. Many people are out of work, cannot find a job and are struggling financially. The unemployment rate is still up around 10% and food stamps and umeployment benefits are being distributed at record levels.
When times are good, it is easy to be grateful to God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon us. But during hard times, it is often difficult to be grateful to God. Whatever our personal circumstances, God is still God and he is still good. So, when we feel like we have struggled enough or lost more than our fair share, how do we remain thankful and maintain a grateful spirit toward God?
There are several factors that can contribute to an ungrateful spirit. Unrealistic expectations is one factor. If our expectations are too high and go unfulfilled, then resentment and disappointment can creep into our lives. A sense of entitlement can also lead to ingratitude. If we believe that certain things are owed to us but we do not receive them, we can become ungrateful for what God has already blessed us with. And if we fall into the trap of comparing what God has given to us versus what He has given to others and our conclusion is that He has given us less than we deserve, then envy, jealousy, and ungratefulness can take root in our lives.
Whatever our life circumstances, unemployed or employed, sick or healthy, poor or wealthy, we can make gratitude a part of our life. In the beginning, we must often choose to live a life of gratitude to God. Gratitude must be practiced. But like any other skill or learned habit, the more we practice, the easier it becomes and the easier it becomes, the more we grow to be like Jesus.
In the Gospels, Jesus was a man who never complained or griped but instead had deep wells of joy and peace flowing through Him. When we choose to live a life of gratitude, we not only begin to shine like Christ, but we also experience deep joy and peace about the circumstances of lives. And like Jesus, we learn to trust that God knows all the details of our lives and our needs and will meet them according to his perfect plan.