Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. We celebrate those near and dear to us and thank God for all that we have. But what if we’re not feeling very thankful? In this post, I’ll first share Paul’s example of thankfulness, and then we’ll be looking at seven Thanksgiving Bible verses. Giving thanks is good for us, and we can be thankful for whatever we’re going through.
Gratitude in all things
Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 16-18, that we can be thankful in all circumstances, good or bad. He writes: “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
Paul doesn’t say this lightly. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, he says;..” I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”
Paul lived through immensely difficult times, and still, he said, “Give thanks in all circumstances” (v. 18). Even in hard times, or if we have unanswered prayers, having a thankful heart will turn our worries and sadness into praise. The more we make room for giving thanksgiving, the more we invite God to shift our perspective. I’m not saying to be thankful for the bad situation, but can we learn to be thankful in the midst of it? Thankfulness is a position of the heart, and we can choose this every day, whatever we are going through.
Now, read on for seven more wonderful Thanksgiving Bible verses.
Seven Thanksgiving Bible verses
1. “Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.”
Psalm 103:1-4 is a great Bible verse about thanking God. Do you notice how David tells his soul to praise the Lord? We really do have a part to play in reminding ourselves and our souls of the eternal goodness of God! Reminding ourselves of His unchanging nature can be a helpful first step into thanksgiving.
2. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Colossians 2:6-7 suggests here that thankfulness comes from being rooted and built up in Jesus. We are strengthened in faith, and out of that comes thankfulness. Our faith will be tested and can withstand the emotional ups and downs of life when we focus on Him.
His love endures
3. “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34.
Its so great to be reminded of Gods unchanging and eternal goodness. He never changes and neither does His love for us.
Sing for joy
4. “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land” Psalm 95:1-5.
These are wonderful Thanksgiving Bible verses, reminding us why we give thanks to God. His love endures, and His creation is miraculous. Let’s thank Him!
5. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” Colossians 3:15-17.
And whatever you do, be thankful. Paul shows us here that giving thanks is an integral part of living in Christ.
Do not be anxious
6. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7.
Notice here how Paul suggests using Thanksgiving as an antidote to anxiety. Spend your time on Thanksgiving instead of dwelling on worry. The more time you spend in thankfulness, the more thankful you will naturally become. Let’s train ourselves to be thankful.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
7. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” Job 1:21.
Finally, Matt Redman’s moving song, “Blessed Be Your Name” reminds us that all of us go through times of joy and despair, loss and abundance, and through it all, the only unchangeable thing is that God is worthy of our praise. So, let’s give thanks to Him!
Nothing new under the sun
There is nothing new in the practice of thanksgiving; it actually stems from Ignatian practice, which was founded on the experiences of the sixteenth-century Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The ‘Examen‘ is just the name for a simple process of taking time to review your day with God.
There are five steps to the examen:
1. Take a moment to be aware of God’s presence.
2. Think back on the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your feelings. What has made you thankful, sad, or angry today?
4. Choose one part of your day (good or bad) and pray out of it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
Ignatianspirituality.com has a really useful guided version of the Examen. It is about looking into your life—the joys and sorrows—and using it to hear what God is saying, day by day. Why not have a go later today?
To conclude, Thanksgiving illuminates what has been right there in front of us all along; it arms us against depression, illness, and low self-esteem; and it fills our minds with positive thoughts so there is less room for the bad. Therefore, it’s not about pretending bad things aren’t happening, but rather, it is making a choice to hold on to what is good. Remember, whatever we have or do not have, we always have a choice to be thankful. So, look back on these Thanksgiving scriptures and read them out loud to remind your soul why your God is so amazing. If you want a few more tips on how to meditate on the word of God, check out this blog post.
Finally, why not let Glorify help you on your journey to giving thanks more and more each day? With daily devotionals, prayers, and worship playlists, it is the perfect tool to help you discover more and more of God’s goodness.