It takes a concerted effort to be thankful or have a spirit of gratitude when going through a time of adversity. In such moments Paul’s words of encouragement to the Thessalonians to “give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18) remind us of God’s call for us to proclaim our trust in Him in good times as well as bad.
In Mark Buchanan’s book The Rest of God (cited by Ann Spangler in The Peace God Promises) contrasts such thankfulness with the consequences of ingratitude: “thankfulness is a secret passageway into a room you can’t find any other way . . . It allows us to discover the rest of God- those dimensions of God’s world, God’s presence, God’s character that are hidden, always from the thankless. Ingratitude is any eye disease every bit as much as a heart disease. It see only flaws, scars, scarcity. Likewise, the god of the thankless is wary, stingy, grudging, bumbling, nitpicky.”