We don’t need to be convinced that God has been good to us. His mercies are new every morning and His graces are a fresh awakening to a weary soul. But how often do we tell Him of His goodness? Do our lives express that we are truly grateful for Jesus? Here are five (and a few others) of my favorite verses on giving thanks:
I Thessalonians 5:18 - “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Did you catch that? “In everything give thanks.” We often read that verse and think for everything give thanks. Although we should give thanks for the blessings of God, I believe a deeper step into a lifestyle of thanksgiving means to give thanks for every season of life you are in.
Every year my wife’s family smushes 40 plus into a small southern home for a time of sharing personal blessings that God has given throughout the year. This past Thanksgiving I listened to the sweet testimony of a young teenage girl who has battled with epilepsy. The family has often shared a group message asking the family to pray for their struggles. But despite the hardship, I listened intently as Alyson shared, “In a weird sorta way I am thankful for this. I am thankful for epilepsy. It has put me in front of people I would have never been able to help with out it.”
What a convicting perspective! I believe this is the essence of I Thessalonians 5:18. Can you give thanks for the situation you are currently in?
“For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God” (II Corinthians 4:15).
Philippians 4:6 - “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
I think a brief look at the context of this passage helps us to see what thanksgiving is connected to here:
Standing fast in the Lord (v.1)
Not being anxious (v.6)
Peace of God (v.7)
Isn’t that interesting? I think we would be a lot less anxious over financial stress and responsibility if we would simply make it a habit to praise the Lord for His goodness. Again, see the connection,
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
I believe a thankful heart is a peaceful heart. Someone who is content doesn’t have the time to stop and complain or worry.
Psalm 107:1 - “O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.”
If His goodness is not enough to praise Him, we can certainly thank Him each day for his mercy! If it wasn’t for the mercy of God I would be lost and without hope in the world!
“It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22).
But don’t miss what verse two teaches us, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” One of the greatest witnessing tools you have as a Believer is a thankful heart and an attitude of praise. Don’t keep the blessings to yourself. Share them with others. “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Your thanksgiving could lead someone to faith in the Lord Jesus!
Ephesians 5:20 - “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I am overwhelmed by the fact that He is my Father! What a privilege we have to be His children and to call Him our Father! Jesus did this while He was on earth.
“Our Father which art in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9).
“I thank thee, O Father…” (Matthew 11:25).
“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30).
It is because of Jesus’ relationship with the Father, that we have access to the throne of God.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (I Peter 3:18).
The only merit we have to come boldly to the throne of grace is through Jesus! Without His sacrifice, there would be no thanksgiving.
Psalm 118:24 - “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
This may not seem like a great Thanksgiving verse to you but because of it’s historical significance, it is one of my favorites. Psalm 118 is considered part of the Jewish Hallel. The “Hallel (literally “praise”) is a collection of Psalms (chapters 113-118) included in the morning service on Jewish holidays, Rosh Chodesh (the new moon), and Passover eve. The Psalms are typically sung or chanted joyously, and the final verses (beginning from Psalms 118:21) are repeated twice” (1).
Why is this significant? Fast forward to the ending of Jesus’ earthly ministry. He is with His disciples in the upper room. They are breaking bread as this is the last time they will eat together and enjoy one another’s fellowship.
“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:30).
Scholars believe that the hymn that was sung was none other than the Jewish Hallel. Let the words sink in as Jesus, about to go to the cross; about to suffer on anguish for the sins of man; sings with His friends…
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Wow! What surrender to the will of God. I think this serves as a testimony to all of us that when in the face of our darkest hour we can still praise Him!