Gratitude involves recognizing and appreciating the positive aspects of life, no matter how big or small. By practicing gratitude, individuals shift their focus from what they lack to what they have. This shift in perspective fosters a sense of contentment and happiness, even in the face of challenges or difficult circumstances.
Hugh recommends a daily gratitude journal as a way to build resilience and happiness. Giving thanks throughout the day is simply a way to show God how grateful we are for who He is. Regularly giving thanks to God not only helps us fully realize how He's working in our lives, it gives us a new perspective—our mind is renewed, our attitude is improved, and we are filled with joy.
One of the most powerful examples of giving thanks during difficult circumstances is found in the life of Job. Job was a faithful man who faced one tragedy after another. He was impacted emotionally, physically, and spiritually by the suffering he went through. Yet Job was able to express gratitude to the Lord – whether He was giving or taking. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (Job 1:21).
Scripture teaches that in everything we should give thanks to the Lord and sing praises to Him. That may not always be our natural inclination when life gets tough or we feel overwhelmed, but by expressing gratitude and singing praises, our spirits will be lifted out of desperation as we put our minds on Jesus who has overcame, all the troubles of this world.
Let us practice gratitude daily with these five steps:
1. Write down or just think about at least three things that went well for you today. These can be single words, simple phrases, short descriptions, but you want to be specific. It is better to say you are grateful for a neighbor who prepared meals for you when you were going through a rough time than to say you are grateful for your neighbor.
2. Each day you need to develop three new things for which you are grateful. You cannot recycle old entries.
3. Briefly explain why each of these was positive.
4. Get personal with your description, meaning list the names of the people you are grateful for.
5. You can bring your time of reflection to a close with a prayer of gratitude to God.