I wrote about the difficulty of gratitude in hard times for my weekly Crosswalk devotional. Here’s an excerpt:
We can only summon the strength to gratitude when we understand the goodness of a sovereign God. James reminds us that God uses our trials to shape our character, so that the perfect life of Christ is worked out in us. He has the courage to tell Christians to consider the hard sufferings as opportunities for joy. And when you understand how God is in firm control and shapes our discomfort for our good and His glory, you can begin to “give thanks” even in bad times.