The foremost reason for a Christian to be thankful is because he/she is a child of God (John 1:12). God extended His hand to you, you saw it and you took it. The guilt of sin does not bother you anymore, because Jesus covers it for you. You have no fear of death, because you have eternal life (John 3:16). You are never alone, because Jesus, your Savior, is your friend and the Holy Spirit is in you to guide you (John 14:16-18). This attitude of thankfulness will see you through all the trials and tribulations of life.
However just as Israel “forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them” (Psalm 78:11), we are prone to forget God and His goodness towards us. This is why we must keep reading the Bible (where we see God’s abundant goodness to us in giving us life and salvation in Christ). Meeting together with other Christians for mutual encouragement is also important (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Here are some more practical steps to help us cultivate an attitude of thankfulness throughout our lives:
Keep a thankfulness journal
Reminding yourself what you have to be thankful for and recording your thankfulness each day helps to cement how thankful you are. It doesn’t matter how difficult your life is at the moment, there is always something to be thankful for. Finding that will help you deal with the other parts of life. Record 3-5 things you’re thankful for at the end of every day. When you’re having a particularly difficult time, it can be beneficial to go back to what you’ve written previously.
Transform your mind
The apostle Paul found the secret of being able to overcome in all circumstances. Jesus gave him the strength to do so (Philippians 4:12-13). When we have the mind of Christ, we will understand that it isn’t the situation that’s the problem, it’s how we think about the situation that makes it easier or more difficult. If we are willing to surrender the situation to God, we can rest in the knowledge He will take care of it. Anxiety and negative thinking will not help to turn the problem around.
Meditating on the Bible
Each day as you read the Bible, ask yourself: what can I give thanks to God for? There will be many things: for who God is, what He’s like, what He’s done for us in Christ, blessings of friends/family/church. Keep on mulling over/meditating on these things throughout the day, rejoicing and giving thanks to God for them.