“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” ~Psalm 100:4-5
In the early morning hours, she sits at her kitchen table the same way she faithfully does each day.
With her tired hands on the worn cover of the Bible, she begins to pray. And she does so just as the disciples were taught to pray in the Gospels.
She praises God, intercedes for those she loves, asks for the things she needs (and sometimes wants), petitions for protection, and asks that she be used to bring heaven to earth.
But what happens when in the stillness of your quiet time, your thoughts get stuck in the waiting?
Maybe you are waiting on a Promise that God spoke to you years ago.
Perhaps you have been relentlessly praying for the healing of a loved one, and the circumstances have not changed.
You might possibly need the miracle of provision so that your children will have dinner that evening.
Beloved, these things matter to God, and He is bending His ear to hear these needs. Yet, as we wait on His perfect timing, we can easily fall into frustration and discouragement.
So how do we remain grateful when our world seems to be falling apart?
Psalms 100:4-5 in the New International Version says,
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Thankful in All Things: Big or Small
It is sometimes easier to praise the Lord in dancing and singing when He gives us the big things we have been praying for. But it is in the times of being grateful for the little things that strengthen our faith.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV
We are to give thanks in all things – the big and the small – because God created it all.
He created beautiful sunsets and smooth rocks that have tumbled along roaring rivers.
He created the child you rock in your arms at night and the melody of her laughter that rings in your ears.
He also has shown Himself faithful in simple ways, such as in the few minutes a mom finds to regroup and smiling next-door neighbors.
He proves Himself faithful when He answers your big prayers for healing and the little prayers for finishing your cup of coffee without reheating it.
He is faithful when your bills are paid and when you turn in for the night under a cozy blanket.
And just as you hold your child’s hand in the quiet moments, He has your life and its circumstances in His hands, and that is reason enough for a grateful heart.
3 Ways to Practice Gratitude in the Little Things
What does it look like to show gratitude in all things, and how can we be intentional in giving thanks?
Make Time to Pray
One of the most effective ways to be intentional about giving thanks is through prayer and praise. As you make space to lift your words of gratitude to the Lord for all things, your heart will be changed, and it will become your first response in every circumstance.
If this has been hard for you in the past, set a few alarms throughout your day and thank God in that moment!
Start a Gratitude Journal
This is a beautiful and simple way to keep track of the small ways God has been faithful. Start with a spiral notebook or the Notes app on your phone, and before going to bed, list three ways God was faithful that day.
Not only will you have a personal record of God’s goodness in your own life, but your journal can serve as a faith-building reminder when you are in seasons of discouragement.
Write a Thank You Letter
Has someone done something kind for you or your family recently? Maybe it was an encouraging word or time donated to help you in your ministry.
Whatever it was, sending them a handwritten letter of gratitude will encourage their spirit and build relationships. Also, in a world of digital everything, who wouldn’t like to receive a handwritten note in the mail?
There’s Always a Reason
Whether you are pondering the bright colors of a sunrise or solidifying your weekly calendar and schedule, there is reason to praise the Lord.
“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”
1 Timothy 4:4-5, NIV
The Father is our source of all things, big or small. And He is with you as you find gratitude in your heart.
What little things are you thankful for today?