Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude

Sometimes it can be so hard to be thankful when things feel hopeless.

After all, when I don’t see God working, how am I supposed to have a heart of gratitude?

I struggled with this for a long time. When I was in a dark and difficult season, my heart was filled with questions and accusations against God.

Why was He allowing this pain?

Where was He in my suffering?

Didn’t He love me?


Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude

But when our hearts are so occupied with this kind of thinking, it leaves no room for the Lord’s peace, joy and hope.

Forsaking a heart of gratitude left me feeling hopeless and alone.

God doesn’t call us to praise Him for His sake alone, but because He knows what we need. He knows that when our focus lifts from the pain of our momentary circumstances, we can rest in His deep love and sufficient grace.

When our focus lifts from the pain of our momentary circumstances, we can rest in His deep love… Click To Tweet

Today, I am going to show you a few ways to live out the heart of gratitude we so desperately need in our times of struggle.

First, Praise Him.

Even when it’s hard. Even when it doesn’t feel natural. Just do it.

Utter the words, no matter how feeble, no matter how few.

When we praise Him, we find the power of Christ. Satan shrinks back and we remind him who is in control.

When we praise Him, we remind our own hearts who is in control.

When we praise Him, we remind our own hearts who is in control. Click To Tweet

You can offer thanks for something, you can utter how great He is. Find scriptures that speak of the Lord’s provision and goodness and tape them to your wall.

Praise provides us with the power of the Almighty Lord even in our darkest moments.

Then, Surrender All.

This one begins with a commitment. A commitment to offer your pain and your heart to the Lord despite how desperately you want to hold onto it.

We all long for control, especially when things get tough.

But no matter how we grasp at the security in our own sense of control, the plans, the schedules, the addictions, the anxieties, the Lord is the only one who is Sovereign.

We do not have the power to control our circumstances and any sense of this belief that rests within our hearts is a lie.

It is only in surrender that we can find peace. It is only in surrender that we can find hope. It is in surrender that we begin to cultivate a heart of gratitude.

Finally, Seek Him and His Glory.

As you praise the Lord and as you surrender your heart, you will begin to see a shift in your viewpoint. You will begin to see a change in your mindset.

When we seek to bring the Lord glory in our lives, we find purpose and strength.

When you recognize that God alone knows what is best, when you believe that He is working for your good, you will find rest.

And in that rest, gratitude blossoms.

These steps are a powerful and transforming process. They don’t happen overnight. They take commitment, trust and accountability.

If you are ready to commit to cultivating a heart of gratitude, I have created this resource for you to download and to use as you walk through each step.

In the workbook: Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude, you will find printable praise Scriptures, prayers for surrender, an accountability tracker and a weekly gratitude journal. 

If you are already a subscriber, you can find the journal in the Free Resource Library.

I hope that you will join me in taking the next step to living out a heart of gratitude! 


Get the Workbook!

Includes: Praise scripture printables, prayers to surrender, an accountability tracker and a weekly gratitude journal.

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Comments 33

  • Hi Nicole, what a timely post this is. Thank you for the reminder we all need that gratitude needs to be cultivated. Giving thanks is gets our minds off of ourselves and onto a big God. Blessings to you!

  • Thanks so much, Nicole! This looks like a fabulous resource 🙂 I’m so thankful for you and for your ministry!
    Blessings and smiles,

  • Excellent encouragement here! I like your 3 steps: Praise, Surrender, Seeking His Glory!

  • Great encouragement. Thanks for building up other believers and for sharing at Literacy Musing Mondays! Made me think of that song Praise You in the Storm by Casting Crowns. 🙂

  • Wow, as I read the first few lines of this blog post I was having deja’ vu. They could have been written by myself. Surrendering when were in a place of lost hopes and doubt is difficult. Thank you for kind words and inspiration.

  • What a great resource, Nicole! Thank you for sharing. Have a blessed weekend.

  • Isn’t praise one of the most powerful ways to shift our minds? Great tips Nicole, thank you for sharing the reminder to allow gratitude to blossom as we rest in Him. — And, YAY for you for being the winner of the drawing on my site this week! Woohoo! It’s a great book, I hope you love it. Please send me your info and I’ll get it right out to you! ((xoxo))

    • Praise is SO powerful! Thanks for stopping by, Brenda! And I’m SOO excited to be the winner of the drawing, can’t wait to read Never Unfriended!

  • Great insights and encouragement! Grateful to be neighbors with you today over at #HeartEncouragement. Blessings!

  • Nicole, This is a great post. Praise makes a huge difference and I love that you help us remember how much power there is in that!

  • Six years ago God introduced me to gratitude. I think I always thought that gratitude was possible when I was fully clean and without sin. I’ve learned that’s not true. Gratitude is like you said what often times reminds us of God. Anyone can start reflecting on God’s goodness to them that comes in many ways and in many people. Gratitude is like a path tracing God’s hands. We can find somethings and many things often. Sometimes when I feel myself starting to spiral into a depression about all of the sorrow in my life I know that I have to start saying what I’m thankful for. Usually out loud. Even if it is something like, “Warm sheets out of the dryer” “Fresh cut grass” “Neighbors”….It’s a way to recalibrate my brain and reel me back in. Gratitude is a lifeline for me. Thanks for speaking to us about it’s importance.

    • Yes, speaking out loud often brings power against the enemy’s lies! Gratitude is a process and I’m so glad it has been transforming for you, Somer!

  • I love the verb “cultivating.” It’s a process, like gardening, that may require some digging and some aggressive action!

  • I love this post.
    Especially this part:
    God doesn’t call us to praise Him for His sake alone, but because He knows what we need. He knows that when our focus lifts from the pain of our momentary circumstances, we can rest in His deep love and sufficient grace.

    Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  • Love this and I totally agree. Praise is what I cling to for dear life when things are looking bleak. It completely changes my perspective. <3

  • Giving thanks is a wonderful way to cultivate gratitude in the midst of suffering. I have also found that Scripture memorization encourages me and helps to transform my thought life in the midst of trials and suffering.

    • Memorizing Scripture has been SUCH a game-changer. When I’m feeling discouraged or falling into the lies of Satan, those verses just pop into my mind and give me strength 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!

  • Such wisdom and truth in this post! We all would like to think that we are in control, or we want to control people and situations in our life. Praise God we can surrender control to Him, and trust Him with the results. I really needed this word today! Thanks so much for sharing #Christian, #Marriage, #Motherhood

  • Thank you for the workbook! Cultivating a heart of gratitude is such a life transforming process. I love what you shared. Visiting from #momentsofhope

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