There are times in your life when your hearts desires do not match your reality. As long as you are living, you will experience difficult seasons, but it is in those difficult periods that your character will be exposed. It is important that through everything you are going through bad or good, difficult or easy, that you practice gratitude.
Gratitude is when you are thankful even when things aren’t going the way you planned. Gratitude is being able to praise and thank God for the good and bad. Gratitude is holding on to the vision that God gave you even when everything looks as if it will never manifest. Gratitude is believing that even though your situation seems impossible to fix, you are trusting and knowing that God is going to follow through on his promises to you. Gratitude is sharing your testimony and being transparent about what God has brought you through. Gratitude is a mindset and a matter of your heart.
I’ve had to practice gratitude at several moments in my life. 2016 and the beginning of 2017 were one of the most challenging time periods for me and my family. We had a dramatic lifestyle change, our finances took a major hit, my husband was diagnosed with depression and lost his job and insurance, I lost my dad and my nana days apart, my marriage seemed hopeless, and I experienced some major setbacks in business.
During that time period, we received several prophetic words that my husband and I were headed into our best years in our marriage, business, and finances. Although I believed the words that were spoken over my life, I had no idea how they would manifest. Most days felt impossible to get through, and it appeared that instead of heading towards our best years, we were living in our worst years. Every day I’d ask the Lord to give me strength because despite how bad I felt, I had to show up for my two small kids and my husband (who was battling depression at the time).
I began to thank God in advance for his promises, even though I didn’t have a clue when or how they would work themselves out. I fasted, prayed, praised, and worshiped God in the midst of my storm. I also began a gratitude challenge with my friend, where every day we would send each other a minimum of three things we were grateful for. As I began to practice gratitude, my life began to transform for the better. Everything that I prayed for, fasted for, and worshiped for, began to manifest before my eyes.
I am a living example that God can turn it around and work everything out in your favor and his will! For the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but the Lord comes so that I may have life, and I may have it more abundantly. [John 10:10] I challenge you to make a list of everything you have prayed for and start thanking God in advance for those things. I also challenge you to make a list of three things you are grateful for over the next week.
Father God I honor you, praise you, and lift up your name. Father, I thank you for giving life, but also abundant life [John 10:10]. I thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins for you gave us the victory through him. [1Corinthians 15:57]
Father, I thank you for giving me the vision for my business/ministry/nonprofit. I am thankful even when things don’t go as planned, or didn’t work out the way I envisioned it; I am still grateful that you chose me to do your will.
Father God, I repent for any resentment, bitterness, anger, frustration, rebellion, and disobedience that I committed as a response to not practicing gratitude. More specifically I repent for ____________________________________, although it didn’t pan out the way I expected, I know that that in all things you will work for my good for I love you and have been called according to your purpose. [Romans 8:28]
Lord, even when I am having trouble holding on to your promises, I will rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is your will for me in Christ Jesus. [1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]
Through all things including in my business, my relationships, my finances, my ________________________________ I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart and I will share my testimony. [Psalms 9:1]
Let your peace Lord rule in my heart since as members of one body I was called to peace. And be thankful. Let your message dwell among me richly as I teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in my heart. Colossians 3:15-16
I devote myself to prayer, being watchful and thankful. [Colossians 4:2] Thank you, Lord, for you are good and our love endures forever. [1 Chronicles 16:34]
In Jesus Name I pray, Amen