Posts Tagged ‘Gratitude’

Thanksgiving is more than a day off. It is more than eating mashed potatoes and gravy, watching football, and taking a wonderful turkey-induced nap.

Thanksgiving is a pervasive and essential concept in Scripture. And although it is good to set aside a Thursday each November to cultivate a heart of thanksgiving, the Scriptures have more to say about giving thanks than one day a year can handle.

Here are five biblical truths about thanksgiving.

1. Thanksgiving Is Trinitarian

The typical pattern of thanksgiving in the New Testament is that God the Father is the object of thanksgiving, God the Son is the person through whom thanksgiving flows, and God the Holy Spirit is the source of thanksgiving. Paul models this in Romans 1:8: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.” And Colossians 3:16–17:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

The very presence of thanksgiving points to the Holy Spirit as the source of thanksgiving because without the work of the Spirit it is impossible to please God (Romans 8:5–8).

Christianity does not call for vague thanksgiving to a vague deity. Our God is triune and, as a result, thanksgiving has a Trinitarian flavor. Thanksgiving flows to God the Father, through God the Son, from God the Spirit.

2. Thanksgiving Replaces Sin

When Paul commands believers to stop sinning, he also commands believers to put thanksgiving in its place. Paul writes: “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Ephesians 5:4).

Paul knows that we are always acting. We either act with sinful, thankless hearts which leads to foolish talk or crude jokes, or we act with thankful hearts and thereby please God with our speech. John Piper explains,

The key to unlocking a heart of gratitude and overcoming bitterness and ugliness and disrespect and violence is a strong belief in God, the Creator and Sustainer and Provider and Hope-giver. If we do not believe we are deeply indebted to God for all we have or hope to have, then the very spring of gratitude has gone dry. (“Violence, Ugliness, and Thanksgiving”)

3. Thanksgiving Sanctifies Creation

How should Christians think about God’s good creation? Paul says that it should be received with a heart full of thanksgiving: “Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is made holy by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4).

Paul teaches that creation is good and should be received with thanksgiving because it is made holy through the word of God and prayer. Piper explains the connection between the goodness of creation, thanksgiving, and prayer,

[T]he word of God teaches us to taste food as a communication of his diverse goodness and his supreme worth. And when we taste food as a communication of God’s goodness and worth in the eating of this food, we offer up our prayers of thanks, and ask him to give us the fullest possible feast of his supreme worth. And we pray this in Jesus’s name, knowing that every lasting blessing was bought by his blood. (“What God Made Is Good and Must Be Sanctified”)

4.Thanksgiving for the Gospel

We should aim to have our thanksgiving rise in proportion to the value of the object for which we give thanks. Therefore, we should be most grateful for God’s work for us in Christ because it unites us to our highest joy – God himself. Paul writes, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:4).

Paul never tired of giving thanks for the grace of God in Jesus’s person and work. And neither should we. God has showed his love for us even when we were enemies of God (Romans 5:8); he called us out of darkness and made us heirs of God (Romans 8:17); Jesus bore the punishment we deserved, and we receive his perfect righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).

5.Thanksgiving in All Circumstances

One surprising aspect of thanksgiving is that it’s for all circumstances, not just one big meal a year. Paul writes, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).

Giving thanks in all circumstances is especially difficult while undergoing suffering. How can we be thankful when there’s something that hurts so much? We can give thanks in the midst of suffering because it is meant to enlarge our faith, not as punishment (2 Corinthians 4:17–18), and because it is redemptive, not random.

Our suffering is not punishment for our sin — because Christ has borne our punishment in our place (Romans 3:25). The demands of justice have been met. And our suffering is not random — because God is sovereign over it, and through it God is conforming us in the image of his Son (Romans 8:28–29).


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gratitudeThese lat two weeks have been crazy for me. I’ve been seeing oncologists, preparing for visits to see specialists, and all the while, living life like nothing was going on so nobody would worry. I’ve been my usual jovial self cracking jokes, and seeing if I can make others around me happy. People ask me how I can do this, and it’s simple. I’m living like I was dying.Typically when people have a death sentence imposed upon them, they turn to God in the hopes of making it to heaven. They learn to appreciate the smallest of things that they never noticed before because they were usually to busy with life to live it. Now don’t worry folks, my prognosis is excellent, and I am firmly convinced that the Lord has plans for me on this earth for a very long time. But the one gift I’ve gotten from my Oncologist is the gift of appreciating the things I never did before.

Today I thought I would look at some verses in the Bible where people chose to give praise, thanksgiving and appreciation to God the creator, both for the big and small things in life – even in the midst of strife. I think by giving thanks it helps to give us a new appreciation for just how blessed we truly are, even in the worst of circumstances.

Bible Verses Of Thanksgiving And Appreciation

As Christians we are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, and that alone should be reason enough to give praise and thanks. But there are so many reasons to give thanks, so let’s praise him continually, in good times and bad!

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. Hebrews 12:28

Our salvation in Jesus Christ is one of the biggest reasons to be thankful, and to praise God.  Once we accept Him we are a part of the unshakeable kingdom.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Giving thanks in hard times can be so hard to do, but I’ve found that when I do it has the effect of changing my heart and my outlook.  By giving thanks God gives us hope and a new light of hope.

The LORD lives! Praise to my Rock! May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted! 2 Samuel 22:47

God is alive and present in our lives, and gives us a strong foundation for all that we do.  He is the rock and foundation of our faith, and should be praised!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

We should give thanks to the Lord, for his righteous nature and because of His strong enduring love for us, despite our ugly sinful natures.

Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8

God has done so much for us.  We should give thanks and praise to Him, and tell others about all the great things he has done, and can do for them as well.

I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving. Psalm 69:30 

I think far too often when we talk to God it’s all about us, what we want, what our troubles are.  We would all be so much better off if we were to spend more time praising God, thanking him for his goodness and love.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. Psalm 100:4

The Psalmist time and again offers praise and thanksgiving to God for the things he has done. We should do the same!

But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:3-4

As Christians we are to avoid all sorts of immorality, greed and a host of other sins. There should be no filthy or silly talk, or coarse jesting, but instead we should give thanks to God and to others.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

We are victorious in Him, and through his sacrifice for us on the cross!

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

When we become Christians we are told to be constantly in His word, strengthening our relationship with Him and to be overflowing with thankfulness for the things he Has done.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Time and again in the Bible it tells us how we’re to be thankful, and how this is a trait of someone with Christ in their hearts.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Christ gives us strength, and loved us when we were unlovable.    He wants to use us, as broken human beings, to reach others for Him.  We should be thankful for His favor when we didn’t deserve it.

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10-11

God blesses us so that we can give and bless others – and so that they will see God’s goodness and give thanks.

I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:4

Without Christ Jesus and his saving grace, we would be lost.

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 3:17

We should give thanks in all things, and at all times to God the father through Christ Jesus. He has given us all we  have and saved us from our sin.   Giving thanks is the least we can do!

Go out and live today….Learn to put the worries and living aside to appreciate the small gifts that God has given you otherwise, why would He give you a big one if you can’t appreciate the little ones. Everything is a gift, learn to enjoy them.

gratitudeJesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”—Luke 17:17

Suffering from leprosy, the ten men cried for mercy from a distance. Although Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he noticed these people in need. Asking no questions, he said simply, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” According to custom, the priests would determine if they were healed.

The ten men obeyed, and along the way they noticed they were healed. It was obvious. Can you imagine their excitement? What would have been lifelong banishment was over! They were cleansed, and now they could be part of the community again. They could go home!

Our lesson comes from the example of “the foreigner.” He saw his healing and hurried back, praising God with excitement, not caring what anyone thought. He was loud. He was ecstatic. After all, he was healed! Throwing himself at Jesus’ feet, the Samaritan did what we expected from all ten who had been healed. He took the time to thank his healer.

Yet where were the other nine? Jesus’ question prompts us all to think about our thankfulness. The thankful Samaritan was healed physically and spiritually, as Jesus pointed out: “Your faith has made you well.” Healed from the deadly disease of sin, we need to ask, “How do I express thanks for my healing?”

Well, how do you?


Lord Jesus, healer of our disease of sin and other illness-es, how can we thank you enough for the gifts of your life and love? Receive our gratitude for your amazing salva-tion. Amen!