When we “thank God” when good things happen, we can inadvertently imply that God is only good during good times, that He is rewarding us for performance, and that God is punishing those who are suffering. Praising God then cannot be built on the quality of our circumstances, but centers on the God of those circumstances, however good or bad they may be. Basing my gratitude on the situation is a recipe for disillusionment and bitterness.
We easily get addicted to our blessings — but the real blessing is God being present through our ups and downs, no matter how hard it gets. I want to praise God in all seasons, not because the hurt doesn’t hurt, but because He never leaves me to myself. He walks in my healing. It is this sort of faith, even the size of a mustard seed, that will break my addiction to tangible blessings and infuses me with reckless freedom in every season.