It makes sense to be thankful for blessings, but what about being thankful for trials? Most of us agree that hardships aren't readily sought after, but there can be great power in thanking God for the things that seem to be making us weaker when in fact they are strengthening us. In the Book of Mormon, a historical book of scripture, a man named Nephi describes the "many afflictions" that he has had to face, but he proclaims, "nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days" (1 Nephi 1:1).
I absolutely love this verse because Nephi recognized the importance of having trials AND being grateful for them. Our hardships make us who we are. We would not have the same strength and courage without them. In order to turn coal to diamonds extreme pressure must be placed upon it. In the same way, people can only grow and become more like God through struggles and pain.
Even for those of you who aren't religious, learning to accept and embrace your weaknesses and hardships is the first step in overcoming them. Take work, for example. Let's say you want to buy the new dodge avenger, so you begin saving your money like crazy, working extra hours, and eating out of a can so you can get the money for this car. When you finally buy it, it will seem so much more valuable to you than if someone had just given it to you because you put in the time to earn it. The same goes for trials. Working through something very difficult will make the light at the end of the tunnel seem so much brighter.
I know that there is hope for each and every one of us. I know that gratitude for both blessings and trials makes us both stronger and happier.
Can I get an amen? :)