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Be Grateful in Every Circumstance

September 6, 2020 by Meliana Santoso (East Java, Indonesia)

Last December I was very interested in the habit of being grateful. Then I decided to try to find whatever I could be grateful for every day and started my year-long grateful program at the beginning of this year.

The habit of looking for something that I can be grateful for every day is actually a very easy thing. Why? Because God is good and God’s goodness will always make me find something to be grateful for. Even though it actually seemed so easy, it turned out that my yearly grateful program was a bit difficult to do, especially every day, because sometimes I forgot! Sometimes I was too busy and I forgot to look for something that I could be grateful for that day. On the days when I forgot to look for something that I could be grateful for, that meant I also forgot to be grateful.

I realized that I often forgot to be grateful even though I had set my heart on my one-year gratitude program. Having a one-year gratitude program did not always make me remember to be grateful, especially if I did not have it. I realized that if I was not grateful that day, it was not because I did not have something to be grateful for. The problem was with me. I forgot to be grateful even though God had given me something that I could be grateful for.

Everything started with me — not only being grateful, but also my relationship with God. I know that many things can prevent me from being grateful, and many unexpected things may happen that can prevent me from going to church. As it is today, with the COVID-19 pandemic, many churches where I live cannot hold services even in small groups. This situation has been going on for almost five months since the middle of last March. In exchange, we now join the Sunday church service online. Even though we join Sunday service online, there are things that I can be grateful for because I can still join Sunday service. Just like when I forget to be grateful, I realized that my biggest attack on being able to join the Sunday service is not the situation or circumstances, but my laziness. Sometimes, even when things are fine and we can physically go to the church to praise and worship God there, I find myself too lazy to go to church.

God’s word says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God wants us to give thanks or be grateful in all circumstances. In all circumstances means also in all situations we face, whether it is difficult or happy. Being grateful is a decision. No matter what the circumstances are or the situations we face, when we choose to be grateful, there will always be many things that we can see through the eyes of our hearts and be grateful for.


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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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Throughout my Walk I experienced the presence of the Risen One in the devotional spaces as well as in times of teaching, meditation, and prayer. The communion with brothers, experienced in the daily sharing at the table and in the Word, generated deep bonds of brotherhood.” 

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