None of our life experiences goes to waste. God can use all of them if we’ll let Him.
I’ve seen plenty of articles and posts about thanking God for the good times in our lives. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one about thanking Him for the hard times we face.
I mean, who finds delight in experiencing difficult situations? It goes against the grain to say, “God, I thank You for this horrible health diagnosis.” or “Lord, I thank You that I lost my job and finances are so tight that I don’t know how I’m going to make the house payment.”
I’ve been going through a long period of health problems, and I’ll be honest—I’ve done my share of whining, complaining and asking God why we can’t find the answers to what’s wrong with me. But He’s given me some new gratitude insights recently, and I want to share them with you:
1. Lord, I thank You for trusting me enough to give me this situation.
God has a purpose and a plan for every moment of our lives. My prayer is that I will respond to the situation with a Christ-like attitude, and that others also will see that God is “enough” for every situation.
2. Father, I’m grateful for what You will teach me through this difficult time.
There’s something about going through a trial that makes us learn things we wouldn’t learn otherwise.
3. God, thank You for how this will mature me spiritually.
This is an opportunity to learn patience and acceptance for God's plan for me—even if it’s not the one I’d choose. Lord, draw me closer to You.
4. Lord, thank You for how this difficult situation will help me know You more intimately.
Hard times do wonders for our prayer lives and lead us to spend more time in God’s Word as we seek comfort and guidance. And it’s often in those moments that we’ll see Him in ways we’ve never seen Him before, when we’ll feel His presence hovering close.
5. Father, I thank You for how I can take what I’ve learned through these difficult days and use it for You.
None of our life experiences goes to waste. God can use all of them if we’ll let Him. Whether it’s a hug, taking time to pray with a hurting friend, giving a monetary gift to someone who needs it or sharing how God was faithful to us when we needed Him, we can help comfort others because of what we’ve lived through.
God, we thank You for being with us through difficult days. Help us look for the blessings in the hard times and help us to be faithful to serve You no matter what circumstances we face. Amen.