Thanksgiving is more than a day where turkey, sweet potato pie, cranberry sauce and mash are eaten around a table packed with friends and family members. It is more than going around said table and having one person say what they are thankful for this year. Thanksgiving is a state of mind and heart. There is no default setting in our minds or hearts that make us automatically be thankful instead of envious, greedy, stressed or scared.
Thanksgiving is the spirit’s response to the acts, creation, glory and holiness of the triune God. We do not need to look very far to find scripture upon scripture of the goodness of the Father, the selflessness of the Son and the comfort of the Spirit. Turn you heart to thanksgiving, use the scriptures. Every time the God of Israel delivers his people from slavery, give thanks. When you read about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, give thanks. When the Spirit pours out on God’s people in Acts give thanks. Each time you read about something that reveals the nature of God turn your heart in thankfulness to God.
Here are various scriptures on thanksgiving.
1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you.
2. Psalm 107:1
Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.
3. Philippians 4:6
In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
4. Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to Yahweh according to his righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of Yahweh Most High.
5. Ephesians 5:20
giving thanks always concerning all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father
6. Psalm 100:1-5
Shout for joy to Yahweh, all you lands! Serve Yahweh with gladness. Come before his presence with singing. Know that Yahweh, he is God. It is he who has made us, and we are his. We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, and bless his name. For Yahweh is good. His loving kindness endures forever, his faithfulness to all generations.
7. James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow.
8. Psalm 50:14
Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Pay your vows to the Most High.
9. Psalm 100:4
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, and bless his name.
10. Colossians 3:15
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful.
The Lord is love, he is power, might, awesome in power, omnipotent, omnipresent, patient, kind, provider, the list goes on and on until eternity. Even if you turn your heart in thanksgiving to just the attributes of what we know of God, you will never run out of things to be thankful for.
Psalm 50:14 says that thanksgiving is a sacrifice. That is because it is against our fleshly nature to give thanks. We as children of God need to be careful of getting caught in the trap of complaining and being discontent. Let us be encouraged by Paul who wrote to the Philippians, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12). Earlier in that same chapter, Paul tells the church in Philippi to not be anxious but with thanksgiving tell God what worries them.
As a child of God you have access to him, heed Paul’s advice to the Philippians and give thanks in and for everything.