20 Bible Verses That Remind Us to Be Thankful
- Aaron Brown Crosswalk Contributing Author
- 2021 4 Feb
Need some thankful Bible verses to uplift you and remind you of God's goodness? Being thankful is a culturally sound trait in most places, if not everywhere in the world. People like to be appreciated for their efforts in all walks of life. Politicians. Teachers. Parents. Artists. Students. Children also appreciate the acknowledgment of their efforts when doing well academically, on a sports team, or in some other activity. We know also that a heart of gratitude is a key component in a Christian’s lifestyle.
We experience thankfulness when reflecting on God’s blessings. What exactly does the Bible say about an attitude of thankfulness? “Give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
This verse from Scripture highlights a crucial idea needed to properly understand thankfulness. As Christians, we are to be thankful in all circumstances. This includes times where we feel life is joyful and everything is going well. In addition, we are to be thankful in times of life where we feel just the opposite and life is turbulent. Being thankful is “God’s will” for us. God values gratitude, and thus, we can conclude that we should too. Knowing that an attitude of thankfulness is important to our Creator (and thus important to us) we can then be mindful of the various ways we give thanks.
Important to note, giving thanks as Christians is not limited to thanking only God. He has blessed us in the form of other people too, with whom we should also give thanks. We know from the verse in Thessalonians that showing thanks in all circumstances brings glory to God.
Here are some specific ways to show thanks to God:
- Gratitude journal
- Love others
And here are a few ways to show gratitude to someone in your life:
- Write a “thank you” note
- Express verbal thanks
- Donate time, money, energy
In addition to these methods of practicing gratitude, here are 20 Bible verses that remind us to be thankful. These are good reminders for ourselves and wisdom we can share with others.
Use our 30 Daily Devotionals for Thankfulness to refocus your life in gratitude to God! Save this PDF and share it with your loved ones!
20 Be Thankful Bible Verses
“Give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
There is an important distinction this verse makes. We may not feel happy or thankful for the particular circumstances that happen, but we can be happy and thankful in everything. Knowing this is important to God should push us to value thankfulness also.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)
One of the main reasons we should be grateful to God is for His love. Throughout the Bible, we see verses such as this that remind us God shows us love through His mercies on humankind. He does not give us the full consequence of our sins.
“And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)
When we do everything with Jesus in mind, we start to think about how Jesus not only commanded us to act but how He Himself would act in a particular circumstance. When we role-model that behavior we become more Christ-like ourselves.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)
Whatever talents we were born with, or whatever opportunities we have had to learn a new talent, each is a blessing from God. He enjoys blessing His children, us, with good gifts.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger,
for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.”
God walks with us throughout all phases of life, the ups and downs. We can be thankful for this knowledge because this means we are never alone. This verse also informs us that God guides us through life, so we do not have to live in fear of making mistakes.
“But I have trusted in your faithful love;
my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord because he has treated me generously.”
God’s deliverance from harsh circumstances is never undetermined. He always delivers, but His timing will not always (if ever) match our own. As we trust and wait for the Lord, we can do so gratefully.
“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:19)
When reflecting on God’s blessings, we must note the greatest gift God offers humanity is salvation.
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.” (Proverbs 17:17)
Our loved ones, the people with us through the trials of life, can definitely be counted amongst God’s blessings.
“Indeed, God is my salvation; I will trust him and not be afraid, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)
God functions in many roles within the life of a believer and takes on many metaphors, including that of a “song”.
“One who is righteous has many adversities, but the Lord rescues him from them all.” (Psalm 34:19)
God’s deliverance is promised. We can be thankful after the deliverance, but we can also be thankful beforehand knowing what’s coming.
“But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Jesus died for all of humanity, including those who were not alive at the time, us. He blessed us without our asking.
“Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
God’s provision in nature is constant and animals are not prone to anxiety. We should thank God always, knowing He will provide when we don’t understand or see a way for ourselves.
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
The great many blessings God can offer are available to us. Sometimes we ask and wait, sometimes we pray and seek. God will bless us in time.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Not only do we know nothing happens without God’s consent, but we also know God will use all circumstances that better us. This means that though we may dislike things that happen, we can be grateful that the experience will grow us nonetheless.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
We know through Scripture the importance of being thankful. This in itself is a reason to be thankful, but we can also feel gratitude for all the other tidbits of wisdom we learn from the Bible.
“Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish,[a] for his mercies never end.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!”
Knowing God shows new mercies every day should be enough reason to offer Him praise. Due to these new mercies, our sins do not bring about the otherwise natural consequences.
“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
We can give God thanks knowing that we have no reason to ever be afraid, something that for many comes naturally for non-life-threatening situations.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
This verse is another reminder to not be afraid in life. Thank God that He answers our prayers and wants to hear from us.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
One of the greatest ways to show thanks to God is by showing love. Through love, we fulfill the first and second greatest commandments.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
There is no greater gift than eternal life. And an eternal gift deserves eternal gratitude.
How Can Christians Be Thankful in All Circumstances?
The key to being thankful in all circumstances - good or bad - is to keep God in perspective. As believers, we need to bring God into all situations we face. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
We are to keep God in mind always as we go about our daily lives. Doing so will ensure that we not only acknowledge His presence but are able to express gratitude. His love truly is everlasting To help ourselves keep God in perspective we can take three initiatives.
First, we can spend time reminding ourselves of God’s truths. Our lack of thankfulness may result from such issues as pride or despair. The Bible gives us the answer to how we treat such circumstances. Whenever we face hard times in life, the Bible is clear that God will renew us (Psalm 126:5). We should not only be aware of this fact, but grateful for God’s eventual deliverance.
Secondly, we can ensure a spirit of gratitude by being in community. Through accountability and discussions with other Christians, we can be reminded of all the good God does on a daily basis.
Lastly, we can perfect an attitude of gratitude through practice. We can take practical steps such as journaling reasons we are grateful every day, or taking time each day to pause and reflect on moments of appreciation.
Taking these three steps is bound to lead us into a lifestyle that is more grateful than not. Though we may not be perfect starting out, we can grow the habit. Though being thankful does not eliminate the trials and tribulations we face in life, gratitude does keep our problems in perspective. More importantly, gratitude helps us to connect with God, recognizing Him for who He is and all that He does.
Much like gratitude from a child makes a parent smile, so to do we when we honor God by showing Him our appreciation. After all, without Him where would we be?
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/AaronAmat
Aaron Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo.