From Depressed to Blessed: How I Found an Attitude of Gratitude

depressed to blessed

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Kristen Vortices. I wanted to have some gratitude-focused devotionals in November, as we are celebrating Thanksgiving in the US. This week’s devotional is the why? to practicing gratitude and next week’s answers the how?]

A few years ago I found myself depressed. My job became really frustrating and the more I tried to fix my situation at work the more stressful my job became. I became short with my family and friends who I loved. Instead of focusing on others I began to focus on myself. As I focused on myself,  I became less and less happy. Finally I fell into depression.

For months I lived with my depression until I discovered that God gave us a solution for depression in Jesus. Obviously because we have been forgiven we should be happy. But let’s go one step further.  I began to read through the book of Luke and found Luke 9:23, Jesus said “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”  This scripture convicted me.

Had I denied myself and crucified my needs and desires?  No. I was so focused on myself and my situation that I could not see all the good things God had given me.

I began to realize how I felt about my job was not important. My circumstance was nothing compared to Jesus dying on the cross for me. My emotions were indicators not dictators of who I am.  So I replaced my feelings with Christ and all He has for me. Because He gives us victory over ourselves.

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV

An Attitude of Gratitude

The easiest way to combat depression is to live with an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is the opposite of depression.  Every good thing in life comes from God. And whatever my circumstance may be I can always find something to be thankful for.  Today I am thankful I can step out onto the back deck and see the crystal blue ocean glistening in the sunlight. I am thankful God made it. I am thankful He gave me eyes to see it. I am thankful to have my family to share it with.

When I begin to find things that I am thankful for, my mindset transforms.

It shifts from what I don’t have to all the things I have to be thankful for. The Bible says every good gift is from God. Everything in my life is a gift from God and I am not entitled to my car, my house, my job. I don’t deserve them, because everything in my life is a gift from God.

Give thanks.

When I give thanks in all circumstances, I fulfill one of God’s purposes for my life. I am happiest and feel fulfilled when I am living in God’s purpose for me. Thanksgiving is so important God made it a command in the New Testament.

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV

1 Thessalonians 5:18 gives us a command, and the command is not conditional. It doesn’t say, “When you feel like it give thanks,” or “Give thanks on a good day.” God’s Word says give thanks in ALL circumstances. Because when we live with an attitude of gratitude we stay focused on God’s character and his abundant blessings. Blessings that are all around us every day.

Count your blessings

            I have started making a list of 10 things that I am thankful for everyday. Now when I begin feeling discouraged by my situation, I go back and read my list. Looking back on all my blessings, I remember the many things I am grateful for. In conclusion I am so thankful God showed me through His Word how to be thankful. Our God is so faithful to provide everything we need in Christ Jesus.

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV

kristen-vorticesKristen also enjoys speaking to girls and women of all ages about their worth in Christ and his undying love for them. She posts a weekly blog “The Young and Beautiful” where she talks about living, staying and being young and beautiful in Christ. To find out more about Kristen follow her blog