Have you ever thought of thankfulness as a sacrifice to God? Psalm 50 talks about giving thanks in this way.
There's always something for which to be thankful. When our 10-year-old son, Travis, was struck by a hit and run driver and suffered severe head trauma he lay in a coma for a number of days. We were far from home, living in Ecuador and I started getting pretty grouchy as the days passed and Travis continued to just lie unresponsive in the ICU unit.
I knew people were praying. I read my Bible looking for comfort. I prayed. I cried. And I became frustrated and a real bear. I didn't even try to be nice. Then one morning I read Psalm 50 and was startled by the idea of thankfulness as a sacrifice. But I wasn't very pleased with my attitude and the Lord spoke to me about this so....
What did I have to be thankful for? There were many things.
My son was still alive. I could stroke his arm, watch his chest rise and fall, and sing to him.
My daughters were being well looked after at home in the jungle without me having to organize anything.
I knew many people were praying.
The MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) flight was able to fly us up to the capital city without any weather worries.
There was good medical care available.
Friends brought food.
My husband was by my side.
The list went on. As I gave thanks, nothing in my situation changed. Travis still lay in a coma, the outcome unknown. But I changed. I took my focus off of the negative aspects of the situation and thanked God for the things that were more positive. It's hard to be grouchy with a thankful heart. I didn't become a "Pollyanna" thinking that everything was going to be wonderful, but I gained a perspective that was oriented more to God and his work than to my impatient and frustrated desires.
There are many reasons to worry and be grouchy these days - the economy, the climate, family troubles, world issues - it's all a mess. But in the midst of troubled times, offer a sacrifice of thanks to God. You'll be amazed at the perspective you'll gain.