Why Should We Be Grateful In Affliction?

Why does it matter if we are thankful if being grateful for our circumstances doesn’t change anything? Karlton shares how it just may.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:14)

If you are alive today you have a reason to be thankful and grateful. Years ago, shortly after I had a major operation, I was angry and complaining about something; my wife rebuked me and told me I should be grateful I was alive and for everything I had. She was right.

Sometimes when we are bearing the weight of affliction we can become so insular in our thinking that we fail to cultivate gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for what we have. If we are not careful, we can become–and be seen–as “takers” who have no regard for anyone or anything except ourselves.

I have tried very hard to stay mindful of my blessings, and to appreciate doctors and nurses, family members and friends, even complete strangers, who have shown me kindness. It costs nothing and can mean everything to simply say: “Thank you!”

Even when I was too weak to move, even when I was in terrible pain, I said “Thank you” to those who were helping me. I have made it a habit. I truly am grateful for any and all the help I have received and I hope you are as well.

It may seem counter-intuitive to be thankful, to stay grateful, when in the throes of affliction. Pain and misery draws us inward, and can make us oblivious to those around us and the kindness directed our way.

We can take for granted the compassion and help of the “givers” and be seen as ungrateful “takers.” I don’t know about you, but no matter how miserable I feel, I want people to know that I love and appreciate them, and that I am very grateful.

I want God to know I don’t take His blessings for granted, that I am thankful and grateful for every kindness and blessing He sends my way.

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive us our ingratitude, and help us to cultivate a habit of thankfulness. Amen.

About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. His hope is that there are more ‘thanks’ than ‘complaints’ on his lips.

Have you thanked anyone today? Why not begin by thanking the Lord.

Oftentimes if feels like there is no point to the afflictions we are coping with. If we could find the purpose, it may be easier yo deal with. God doesn’t always provide us with reasons but we can trust that God does have a reason and that no suffering we experience is wasted. I hope this son by Jason Gray touches you, “Nothing is Wasted.”

photo credit: J.G. in S.F. via photopin cc