Why You Should Be Thankful for the Bad Things

Friday, November 18, 2016

It's that time of year, friends! The time for everyone to share what they are thankful for, and a time for everyone to try just a little bit harder to be nice. People who are typically brusk and temperamental can even be found making the tinsiest bit more effort. Maybe it's the weather, or the excuse for cozy blankets. Maybe it's the copious amounts and turkey and pie that they anxiously await, but whatever it is, it helps.

I am definitely a fan of the human race being kinder and more festive. Believe me- this time of year lifts my spirits just as much as the next gal. But I have to wonder: in all our giving thanks, do we ever give thanks for the things in our lives that are difficult? Are we ever thankful for our physical ailment or our emotional trauma? Do we thank God for our car accident or for that time we were embarrassed in front of our friends?

My guess? No, we don't.

And I get it- Shoot, I do it! It's not natural for us to think of bad things as something to give thanks for. We don't normally think of a tragedy or hardship as something worth celebrating. But I believe that we should begin to think that way.



1.) Bad Things Often Turn Into Great Things

You remember when you lost your job? You were mad, anxious, and completely freaked out until... you got that even better job that you never would have pursued had you not been let go.

Or what about that guy who broke your heart. You thought he was fantastic, but after the breakup you saw his true colors; ugly, putrid colors that you don't care to look at anymore, right?

Bad/hard situations seem to have a way of working out. That isn't always true, but I have seen it play out in my own life and I'd be willing to bet that you have too.

2.) Bad Things Build Our Character

So, I'm not gonna lie. Sometimes I wish I had an easy life. Who cares if my character is built up. As long as I have a happy, easy, pain-free life, I'm good. But then I remember that that's not how I want to live.

I want to be kind, generous, gracious, forgiving- but those qualities have to be grown over time. And how do those things grow? They often come when we are challenged the most.

An easy life doesn't make for the best character. And if going through trials is what it takes to become a better version of me, then I should be thankful for the molding I am going through.

3.) God Works All Things for Our Good

Now, I think this one is the perfect tie between numero uno and numero dos. You see, as God builds our character through the hardships in our lives, He is working out everything for our good. And when God works all things for our good (which He ALWAYS does for His children) then we will reap the benefit of each trial that comes to us.

But, one thing that we have to understand is that sometimes, God is working on something eternal. And while we may see many of the good things He is working on for us while we are here on earth, sometimes we won't see or reap the benefits until Heaven.

Sometimes, the good He is working out for us will be obvious, like point number one, but sometimes, what God is working on has more to do with the person we are becoming- our character. Sometimes we just have to trust that God is good enough to know what's best, even when we cannot see it.


So this holiday season, keep being thankful for all the blessings- that's fantastic. But why not also decide to give thanks for all the "bad things" in your life that are helping you get exactly where you need to be, whether you can see it at the time or not.

For the Christian, even the worst of things has a purpose. With God, all things work together for our good. So give thanks for the bad things!

30 comments

  1. Love this! Bad times are never good, but I think it does really make you stronger in the end!

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  2. YES YES YES! Kristin I totally agree with all of these. Even not for the Christian, even the worst things have purpose. I read "Man's Search for Meaning" by a Jewish Psychiatrist who was taken into the concentration camps and survived during WWII, and that's exactly what the entire book is about. I can attest to the power of #1 and #2 in my personal life, and although tragic things have happened and been caused as a result of my actions in the past, I know their is a greater purpose and my character and motivation to create good in the world only grew as a result <3

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

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    1. That's awesome, Rachel! I am so glad that you've seen that at work in your life. It's so true that many times what we think is "bad" ends up being exactly what we needed.
      I bet that was a very interesting book, too!

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  3. I love love love this reminder, Kristin! This is SO true! Often times I forget to look back and consider what I was anxious or frustrated about to see how things turned around (because they always do!) and this is such a fantastic reminder. Thank you for it! I always love your posts!

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    1. Thanks, so much! I really appreciate that! Yes! There have been so many times that my perspective about a given situation was pretty crappy, and now when I look back I see how much better off my life was for that thing happening to me!

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  4. This is wonderful! I agree with you 100% what we see as "bad" can make us stronger!

    Silvia
    www.lovelysilvia.com

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    1. Thank you, Silvia! I am glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. Never once has it happened that bad things led to anything good. But, if you consider becoming more strong and brave because of those things, then it's always! Sometimes we just need to dance in the rain rather than worrying about the storm. :)

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    1. I'm sorry you haven't felt like you've seen anything good come from your struggles. I hope that changes for you.

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  6. This is so good! The message at church today was about having faith not IN SPITE of what happens to us, but BECAUSE of what happens to us. Great to see the same message here, too! Lovely post, friend. xo

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    1. Oh awesome! I am so glad you were encouraged!

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  7. We're called to give thanks in all things! Even the bad! <3

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  8. I did a post like this last week about being thankful for my disappointments and it's so true. Some of the best things that have ever happened to me came from let downs or disappointments. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  9. YES.

    YES YES YES YES YES.

    YES. Kristin, this is so wise (and so true, in my opinion). He works everything out for the greater good and bigger picture. Even if it feels awful in the moment...there is ALWAYS a silver lining in His time. I believe it!
    Tweeting this out!

    Coming Up Roses

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  10. Bad things build great character for sure. It is the bad experiences that have shaped the person I am today.

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  11. I do so agree! How would you appreciate the good if things were always fine and dandy. It's important to have all sorts of experiences

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  12. I adore this post! I will be sharing it on various platforms after I send this comment. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. Even the bad things can bring about something good. I preach this fact over at Glitter & Grandeur so I am so excited to find another post about this! It is HARD to be thankful for a bad experience. I find it difficult to convince myself that I am happy that a bad thing happens. I would much rather skip the bad parts and just have the good outcome -- but you can't have an outcome without a stimulus. Does that make any sense? I hope it did...I'm under-caffienated. Haha! Anyway, this post is amazing. Thank you for sharing!

    xoxo Lauren I Glitter & Grandeur

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  13. Yes, oh yes! Kristin, we need more posts like this! I know how hard it is to be thankful for the trials, but I also know just how beautiful God can make those trials, too.

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  14. Ugh. Girl. You don't even know how I needed this. Though, it's hard to be thankful for the hell of a week I had last week, ha!

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  15. Everything happens for a reason, and that includes the bad ones too!
    Love this post— we must remember this at our low points.

    — DT | Here I Scribble

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  16. This is great advice. I'm totally guilty of wallowing in my misery when I hit a rough patch, but I'm such an optimistic person that it usually doesn't last long. I pull my self together and say,"well this sucks, but everything happens for a reason."

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  17. I needed this today. We left our church over the weekend. The Pastor hasn't talked to us. It was hard. This was a great reminder that God is good all of the time. We just need to have the faith.

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  18. I'm in a season where things are going both great, and really, really not so great. This makes me see how I may be praising God in the doorway of the happy things, but forgetting to praise Him in the hallway of those things we're waiting on. I know once this season passes, I'll see how He was at work, but maybe it would be wise for me to be thankful for my trials, even amidst them. Thank you for this reminder! So, soooo well said.

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  19. Amen, sister! It's about perspective and keeping your mind on Jesus. I so often fail at this but I'm comforted knowing that God works out all things for our good and His glory!

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  20. "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." Genesis 50:20

    We sure have seen this over and over again in our lives. Less than a week ago my BIL was in a serious wreck that put him in the hospital for two days. As a result of this, he was diagnosed with both high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. As much as he hates going to the doctor, he might never have found them, and now he is able to deal with them as he heals from his injuries.

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  21. I loved reading this, definitely need to be reminded this lately! I completely agree with everything you said. It's often hard to realize that good can come from bad, but in retrospect it is usually very clear to us! God is Great!

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  22. Such a true and hard lesson to learn. This past year my husband and I have truly lived and learned that God will work out all things, we just need to trust and rely on him.

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