10 Things to Be Grateful For When Everything Seems to Be Going Wrong

This story was originally published by LDS Living in November 2016. 

We've all heard the phrase that when life gives us lemons, we should make lemonade. We've also all heard the story of Job in the Bible, who, despite losing all his possessions, family, health, and support from friends, trusted in the Lord and found something to be grateful for—his testimony.

Often life does not go the way we planned and "fate" seems to be against us. But even when jobs, friends, or health fail us, there is always something in our lives that the Lord has blessed us with and that we can be grateful for. If like Job we can keep our sights on the Lord and step back to see the bigger picture, the rough time will pass and we will find it easier to see the abundance that the Lord has blessed us with. Though many of the ideas below are probably familiar, it never hurts to think about them more deeply and be reminded of our blessings.

1. Nature

Even if you live in the middle of a city with concrete pavements and high-rises, all you have to do is look up to see the sunshine, sky, clouds, or rainbows and remember God's powerful, creative hand. Buy a plant or visit a park to help you better appreciate these beautiful forms of green life God has put on the earth. 

► Related Reading: Recognizing Stillness in Gospel Living

2. Modern Conveniences

You know—all the little things you usually take for granted like running water, dishwashers, hot water, cell phones, and technology. All of these things allow you to live in relative comfort and ease and are probably making your rough day or week a little better, whether you're notice them or not.

3. Talents

Before you say you don't have any, think again. Whether you write, sing, serve, or play a sport, there's something you do that makes you a better person or helps you understand yourself. When you feel lost, disappointed, depressed, or alone, you always have a way to express it! 

► Related Reading: “Come, Follow Me” FHE: Parable of the Talents

4. Memories

Many of us keep photos, blogs, and journals to record the parts of our lives that mean the most to us. Look back on those pieces of your past and reflect on the good things you have done or been a part of. You’ll be surprised how much you have to be grateful for in your life. 

► Related Reading: 100 LDS Journal Staters for When You Don't Feel Like Writing

5. Laughter

Not only is laughter a gift, but it's a contagious one that is also easy to give. It’s hard to feel discouraged or disappointed when you are laughing. See if you can find something about your situation, no matter how small, to laugh about. 

► Related Reading: 14 Funny Latter-day Saint Memes and Comics to Brighten Your Day

6. Your Testimony

Your testimony is something of infinite, precious value that can't be taken from you. Part of your testimony may include precious knowledge about the plan of happiness, eternal families, and the Atonement of our Savior that some do not have. What a blessing that you have this knowledge and can share it!

► Related Reading: The Perfect Analogy for Anyone Who Worries Their Testimony Isn't Strong Enough

7. Tender Mercies

What little things in your day or week could have gone worse? Are there any mini-miracles you missed seeing when you were caught up in your misery? It could be as simple as something uplifting you saw on a friend’s social media feed, one of your favorite songs that came on the radio, or someone opening the door for you. 

► Related Reading: FHE: Recognizing the Lord's Tender Mercies 

8. Your Divine Identity

Because of your knowledge that you're a child of God, you have the ability to become like Him. You have been blessed with opportunities to repent and to overcome the struggles you are facing and to learn from them. This is something that we often say, but don't really stop to think about. Be grateful for your divine heritage and ability to continually improve as you listen to the Spirit.

 ► Related Reading: Discovering Your Divine Destiny in 4 Steps

9. A Support System

This usually consists of people like family and close friends who are there to try and cheer you up when life has road bumps. Even if you feel like you don't have anyone supporting you, you can always depend on the Savior. He is the one person you can completely believe knows how you feel. We are eternally grateful that He has atoned for our sins and that He has promised that He will not leave us comfortless

► Related Reading: How to Feel God’s Love When You Don’t Feel Worthy of It

10. New Days 

If nothing else, you can be grateful for a new day. You don’t have to be permanently stuck in a rut, and the sunshine will always come out—literally and figuratively. A good night's sleep often brings fresh perspective and renewed energy to conquer your trials. Even if you have to tackle them one at a time.

What are some things you are grateful for, even when it seems like there’s nothing to be thankful for? Add your own ideas by leaving a comment below!

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