Gratitude develops your faith when times are tough-when things don’t make sense, when you can’t figure it out, when your prayers are unanswered, when life stinks, when everything is going the way you didn’t want it to go. Anybody can thank God for good things. But when you can thank God even in the bad things, your faith grows and your spiritual roots grow deeper.
In the Bible, the prophet Habakkuk, was going through tough times. He said, “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:17-18 KJV).
Habakkuk wasn’t thanking God for all the things that had gone wrong in his life. What was this cause of gratitude? “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior”.
Habakkuk could say, “Everything else stinks in life, but I can be grateful, because the Lord is my Savior. He will pull me out. He’ll bring me through this. I’m not on my own. He hasn’t abandoned me. I will still give thanks to God”. This is the ultimate test of faith: Can you thank God when life stinks? That’s the test of how deep your spiritual roots go.
When you are going through tough times, you need to look at what’s left, not what’s lost, and be grateful for it. No matter how bad things are, there are always thousands of things you can be grateful for. And no matter how bad things are, there is always the fact that you can be thankful to God just for being God. He has promised to see us through, to help us out, and strengthen us, to care for us, to do miracles, to answer our prayers. He’s promised that even when things don’t go our way, He can work it for good in our lives.
So, whatever you are facing in this lifetime, whether it be good or bad, trust God and the process and still praise Him through your storm. God will make a way somehow. Even if we don’t see a way out. God can do the impossible!
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