Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV

It’s easy to give thanks when your day is going well. You’re wearing your favorite t-shirt. You got a great parking spot. Your coffee is the perfect temperature with just the right mix of sugar and creamer. You get lots of likes on the selfie you posted to Instagram.

But what about those moments when things aren’t going so well? It seems that your family is going in their own direction. You spill your coffee on your jeans. You have to wait in a long line of customers at the bank or grocery store. You realize the battery in your smartphone is dead. You are fed up with your job.

In moments like these, giving thanks is difficult. But giving thanks is also essential if you want to navigate these experiences with a positive outlook. This doesn’t mean being phony or pasting on a smile no matter what.

Shift your focus with Gratitude

Rather, it’s about taking a moment to shift your focus. Instead of grumbling about the long line of customers, thank God for the cashier and pray for her family.When the family is out of step, thank God that your family is thriving. When your smartphone needs a charge, thank God for all of the amazing technology you have access to. Choose to turn the uncomfortable moments in life into thankfulness.

“I wanted everything that hath breath to praise the Lord. It seemed to me that we should have praise seasons, and that constantly our hearts should be filled so full with thankfulness to God, that they would overflow in words of praise and deeds of love. We should cultivate a spirit of thankfulness.” (Hearts Filled With Thankfulness to God, Ellen G. White)

God, when I’m tempted to complain and grumble, help to stop and shift my focus. I want to be someone who lives in continual gratitude. Let me never lose sight of the blessings You’ve poured out on me.