What Bible verses on thankfulness are especially important for us to live by? I’ve made a study on this to grow in gratitude and also to share these verses with family and friends around our table at mealtimes, especially on Thanksgiving (see “Thanksgiving Turkey and Prayer“).
The Virtue of Thankfulness
To be thankful to God is supreme among all virtues. To be grateful and give thanks to God is to worship him as best and beautiful, glorious and gracious. Thankfulness to God is also sweet to the soul — it brings us joy. Gratitude Research demonstrates what Bible has taught for thousands of years: learn to be thankful and you will be healthier in mind and body and you’ll be a blessing to others.
We all have met people who are thankful and cheerful, spreading the life-giving aroma of Christ even in bad circumstances. We’ve seen how they persevere with a positive attitude. We’ve been blessed by their refreshing mindset of trusting in God. We’ve learned that even if they’re suffering physically their prognosis is improved because of their gratitude.
How can they be so thankful in unfairness, difficulty, or pain? Because they’re drinking from “river whose streams make glad the city of God” (Psalm 46:4). They see the unseen city, whose architect and builder is God, and they are living with their citizenship in those heavenly realms (Hebrews 11:8-18). Not only does this give them hope for their future, but also much grace for today.
Bible Verses on Thankfulness
Here are some of my favorite Bible verses on thankfulness. This is God’s wisdom to nourish a positive spirit to help us thrive as individuals and families. Each verse is introduced with a comment from me to help you apply the word of God in your life. All Bible verses are from the NIV84 unless indicated otherwise.
God is good always and forever so let’s thank him again and again and again!!!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1,2,3).
Thanksgiving to God and joyful music with singing go together
“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” (Psalm 95:2)
Thanksgiving ushers us into God’s presence
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name” (Psalm 100:4).
Simple requests of God, gratitude, a positive attitude are antidotes for anxiety
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things” (Philippians 4:6-8).
Being grateful for God’s forgiveness will increase your capacity to love
“I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love” (Luke 7:47, NLT).
To shine like a star in the night sky do everything without negativity
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:14-15).
Offer thanks in all situations – especially in difficulties
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Even when it’s a sacrifice to thank God it can be joyful
“Let us then sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy” (Psalm 107:22).
It’s heart music to the Lord to always thank God for everything in Jesus’ name
“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19b, 20).
Don’t let ungratefulness to God depress your mind and darken your heart
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21).
Release negative feelings and motives to open up to gratitude
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world” (Matthew 5:8, MSG).
Count your blessings and attribute them to God
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights” (James 1:17).
Participate in the Sacrament of Communion as a celebration of thanksgiving
“Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16).
Say “Thank you” to deepen relationships
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership” (Philippians 1:3-5).
Good friends bring out the gratitude in you
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17, NKJV).
Help those in need and your gratitude will grow
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Be the one in ten people who go back to thank God for his blessings
“As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ Taking a good look at them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough – and he was a Samaritan. Jesus said, ‘Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?’ Then he said to him, ‘Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you’” (Luke 17:12-19, MSG).
Gratitude for God’s extravagant blessings fuels cheerful and generous giving
“Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, ‘He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.’ This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God. Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough!” (2 Corinthians 9:6-15, MSG).