We all know that being thankful for what we have is something we should do—but when we go through hard times, it's not always easy. Here are some tips for remaining grateful in difficult seasons.

Throughout the Bible, God calls us to praise Him for all that He has done for us. No matter what we are going through, we can still remain faithful and live our lives in a way that brings Him glory.

For many of us, this is easier said than done, especially if we're in the middle of a difficult season. When everything seems to be going wrong, we can easily lose sight of all the things that are going right.

But here's the thing—even if we can't see it at the time, God is always with us and for us.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. —Romans 8:28

Even in the most difficult seasons, He continues to bless us in so many ways—sometimes it can just be difficult to see.

If you're struggling to see God's goodness or would just like to make gratitude a bigger part of your daily life, here are a few simple tips for you to try.

Three Ways to Practise Gratitude in Difficult Seasons

1. Start a gratitude journal

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. —Colossians 2:6-7

In general, journaling is a great thing to do. Writing about the things that are going on in your life can help with your mental health and is a great way to record your spiritual growth.

When we're in a difficult season, journaling can sometimes feel a bit counterintuitive. If we don't enjoy our day, reliving it as we write isn't always the most comforting thing to do.

Gratitude journaling is different. Rather than simply recounting things that have happened, gratitude journaling is all about reflecting on and recording the positive things in our lives.

It's also much quicker to do—simply write down the date and at least one thing you were grateful for that day.

It doesn't have to be profound. Anything from getting a really good parking spot to the perfect Vegemite toast you had for breakfast is enough.

Tip: Start out small but try to gradually increase the number of things you write down each day over time.

2. Give thanks in prayer

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. —1 Chronicles 16:34

After you write down your gratitude for the day, take the time to thank God for all that He has done.

Opening your prayer with praise and thanksgiving is not only a great way to reflect on the day—over time, it can help you to form a really healthy and life-giving prayer rhythm.

But don't just stop there. It's also wonderful to take the time to thank God in short bursts throughout the day.

When you get that perfect parking spot, take a moment to thank Him. Before you eat, thank Him for blessing you with food. No matter what it is, take the time to give thanks and praise Him.

Tip: Try writing down your prayers so you can refer back to them when God answers them.

For more tips on strengthening your prayer life, check out this blog.

3. Make time for God

In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. —Ephesians 6:16-17

When we face difficult times, we know that we ought to rely on God's goodness. But how can we have faith in His good character if we don't actually know Him?

As we spend time with God and really get to know Him, it is much easier for us to be thankful for Him in difficult seasons.

As busy as we can be, taking the time to read His Word is so important for our faith, as His truth becomes the armour that protects us from the world.

Without armour, we are vulnerable. With it, we are protected.

Whether it's simply reading a single verse, or digging through a few chapters, reading and knowing God's Word helps us to remember everything that we should be grateful for every single day.

Tip: Try listening to an audio-Bible, worship music, or a sermon to make the most of your commute.

Three Ways to Practise Gratitude in Difficult Seasons

No matter what you are going through, remember that God loves you and has a plan for your life. He is always ready, willing and waiting for you to ask Him to fight the fight with you.

We believe that prayer is powerful and would love to support you in this season. If you'd like us to be praying for you and your family, please get in touch with our friendly team.

Words by Claire Ince

Photos by Ben Adams, Daniel Robson and Javier Elis