Gratitude While Living with Chronic Illness

I used to hear the passage in every circumstance give thanks and think I needed to give thanks for the chronic illnesses I live with. It felt masochistic to me. In 1st Thessalonians 5:18 we read”

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

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Upon further inspection I realized we are called to give thanks in all circumstances. This may sound like I am debating semantics, but please bear with me.

There is a difference between me thanking God for psoriatic arthritis, Celiacs, hypothyroid, Fibromyalgia and thanking God for Jesus and for the blessings in my life even though I live with chronic illness.

I am grateful that God has given me strength to rise above the pain and fatigue I have lived with since 1993. I am grateful Jesus has led me to share his love in other countries and among the many cultures in my city while living with chronic illness. But I am not grateful I have chronic illness.

Whatever circumstance we are in, there is someone we can give thanks for- Jesus, and blessings we can be thankful for.

When Jesus spoke to his disciples in John 16, he told them:

In this world you will have trouble but take heart for I have overcome the world.

Jesus was telling them to focus on him in the midst of their troubles. The reason to take heart is because of Jesus not because of our circumstances.

So I am very grateful for how Jesus has given me strength these past almost 30 years of living with chronic illness. I am very grateful for how he has blessed me to rise above the pain and fatigue to share his love with the nations.

I am thankful for the doctors especially the ones at UNMC. I am thankful for my friends at church who have helped me.

Thank you Jesus.

What are you grateful for?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

28 thoughts on “Gratitude While Living with Chronic Illness

  1. Thanks for this post, Matt. It resonated with me. I am thankful my husband had Parkinson’s Disease and not something unknown or something more aggressive. I’m going to write more about that in my blog this weekend. There is ALWAYS something for which to Thank God. Thanks for that reminder.

  2. Amen!! Beautiful insight Matt!! God is in the midst of our pain—offering His peace and comfort, and for that we can be incredibly grateful!
    Thank you for sharing your encouraging mindset!!

  3. Learning to be thankful in all circumstances has helped me to have joy regardless of what is going on. There is always something to be thankful for. I am thankful for people who know more than me that I can learn from. I am also thankful God has kept and is keeping you through your illnesses. Thanks big brother. ❤️

  4. Great message and agree “I am grateful that God has given me strength to rise above the pain and fatigue (and illnesses). But I am not grateful I have chronic illness.” God bless you 😀

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