Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.’
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
The things we focus on will help shape our attitude. If we look at the positives, we’ll be more likely to have a positive and thankful attitude. If we’re aware of the positives but choose to remember all the negative things, then we’re more likely to have a negative attitude. Some of us can end up missing the good things in life because we’re focusing on what’s wrong. It’s true that there will always be negative things in our lives. Maybe it’s a bad relationship, rejection, frustration at work, or a health issue. These things can make it really hard to be positive. They can feel overwhelming and end up being all we can see. But the Bible tells us to ‘rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances.’ How can we do this when we’re facing difficult things? We need to keep focused on the good things in our lives. These are the things God has blessed us with. He gives us good gifts: ‘Every good and perfect gift is from above’ (James 1:17 NIV). We can also keep our eyes focused on God Himself. He never changes, He never leaves us, He never stops loving us. These are incredible things that we can always be thankful for, no matter how bad our circumstances are. This doesn’t mean we have to pretend to be happy when we’re hurting. God wants us to be real, and He wants to comfort us when we’re struggling. The Bible tells us that there is ‘a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance’ (Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV). But whatever season we find ourselves in, we can always be joyful and grateful because of everything God has done for us. What Now? Write a list of every good thing in your life. Each time you start thinking about negative things, read through the list and thank God for each thing you’ve written.