How to Be Thankful in Hard Times

Is it possible to be thankful in hard times? How are we supposed to be thankful to God for everything? The Bible teaches how to give thanks in all things.

When you read “Give thanks in all things…” in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, do you consider it a realistic exhortation? Is it actually possible to be thankful in hard times? How are we supposed to be thankful to God for everything? 

Years ago, our family went through a long season of severe financial strain during which I regularly fed our children popcorn for supper because I didn’t have other options. I wondered, “Does God really expect me to be sincerely grateful for this?”

Weary to my core and with faltering faith, I cried out to God for a fresh infusion of hope. I needed more from Him than a command to “rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). I wanted an explanation. I wanted to understand how to be thankful in hard times and why I should be thankful when life is tough. 

The Bible did not disappoint. As I dug into God’s Word, I was encouraged by the stories of men like Jonah, Daniel, and Paul, who demonstrated genuine thankfulness in circumstances far more dire than any I’ve endured. Through plenty of inspiring Scripture passages, God gave me what I was looking for—the how and why of thankfulness in all things. 

Click through to my guest post at Ladies Drawing Nigh to find out about the practical way God taught our family to praise God in the midst of hard times, and learn the 7 Bible verses that inspired us to “give thanks in all circumstances”. 

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4 Responses

  1. Loved this, Jana! Thank you for sharing. 1 Thess 5:16-18 was so key for me as I walked my breast cancer journey in 2011. In fact, that verse is now on my kitchen wall, where I can always be reminded of God’s will for me in Christ Jesus. You are so right, God may not change our situation, but He can sure change our heart IN the situation. ❤️

    1. THANK YOU for sharing this part of your story, Cheryl. It never ceases to amaze me how a single nugget from God’s Word can literally change our lives. And I love that you display this life-giving truth on your kitchen wall. We never “outgrow” our need to be reminded!

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