Giving Thanks when you have Nothing to be Thankful for

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One thanksgiving, as I was checking out a DVD at Blockbuster (yea that’s old school, I know) I asked the young girl at the counter, “you’re not doing anything today?” Her response caught me by surprise. “Nah, I’m working today, I have nothing to be thankful for anyway.”

At first I thought she was crazy! Nothing to be thankful for… As years passed I realized that this girl was not the only one who had nothing to be thankful for. There were close friends of mine, Christian friends and family who said the same thing.

I have NOTHING to be thankful for.

Let me tell you about these friends: they really had everything, great parents, great jobs, supportive friends. But yet they dwelt on the negative things that occurred to them over the recent past. Many lost family members, many lost their high paying jobs, many down sized their homes, many lost their perspective on being thankful!

Are you one among these friends that dwell on the negative occurrences in life, and not see the blessings right in front of you?

I have had many,  many negative things happen to me- for example I got really sick in college and couldn’t take my finals, and had to redo the whole semester all over again. Not only did my parents lose all their money, but I was a full semester behind in pharmacy school. Truth be told, I was NOT one of them that had nothing to be thankful for. By His grace, I was more joyful in the situations presented to me thereafter, and more determined to succeed.


I want to introduce you to one of my other friends. His name is Paul. The apostle Paul, who wrote 13 books of the Bible. Have you ever read his testimony? Read 2 Corinthians 11 vs 23-27 in the NLT version with me.

23 Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.[c] 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

Wow, does my testimony even compare one ounce to Pauls? Although he was perplexed on every side he continued to write to the various churches. He was a HOPE WRITER!

What did Paul instruct those he wrote to about giving thanks?

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians… Click To Tweet

Why did Paul give thanks although he (might) have had nothing to be thankful for?

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 9:15

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

So this Thanksgiving, if you have NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to be thankful for, think on the indescribable GIFT given to you, and the VICTORY you have through Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Think on the indescribable GIFT given to you, and the VICTORY you have through Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet

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I am a pharmacist turned stay at home mom of three boys under the age of 5. I hope to use holy scripture, lyrics, and words of encouragement to uplift moms in all stages of motherhood. I am taking this journey of writing to find spiritual balance and joy while raising my three boys!


  • Julie October 20, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Sue- great reminder! I think it’s due to our focus. If we focus on our problems we can always find something that’s wrong.
    The same with our blessings. We can always find a blessing in the midst of hard time!


    • Sue October 21, 2016 at 8:44 am

      I love that! we certainly can find the blessings in the midst of trials. Thanks for stopping by again!

  • Clarissa October 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    A wonderful reminder Sue. It is hard to give thanks to God when we go through hardships, but that is exactly when we should be thanking Him and praising Him. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. Phil. 4:4 It is through hardships that we are able to taste and see that our Lord is good, and blessed are we who trust in Him!

    • Sue October 21, 2016 at 8:43 am

      Rejoice always is what Paul reminds his churches, he must of been really able to rejoice through hardships!

  • Amy October 20, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    This is excellent, Susan! Miss you!

    • Sue October 21, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Thanks Amy for stopping in and commenting! miss you too!

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  • Valerie Murray October 25, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Yes! We can always be thankful for the indescribable gift we have in Jesus! Amen! Thank you for sharing this at 100 Happy Days!

    • Sue October 28, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Amen sis, and thanks for visiting me here:)

  • Kay October 28, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    What a great reminder! Even when Paul was stuck in yet another prison, he found time to praise God and be thankful. I wrote a post that sort of hinted on this just yesterday, on how we get discouraged so easily over such simple and mundane things compared to what some disciples and other followers of Christ have gone through. Why do we let small battles defeat us without much of a fight? Loved this post!

  • Lori Schumaker October 30, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    A great reminder to be thankful in all circumstances! I truly view gratitude as a weapon to protect and build our hope and joy! Thanks for sharing this at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,

  • Joanne Viola November 4, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Wonderful post in which we all are reminded to be thankful. Being thankful is a choice we make each and every day. May we always find something to be thankful for as we truly have a good God who blesses us each day. So glad to have stopped here this morning!

  • Marva | SunSparkleShine November 3, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    I love this, Sue. Being through some difficult circumstances recently makes me realise how very much I have to be thankful for. And I have God to thank for that!
    Blessings to you, dear friend.

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