10 Thankful Scriptures to Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving

Contributing Writer
10 Thankful Scriptures to Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving

Scripture reminds us of the importance of giving thanks. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to help put you in a posture of thankfulness. You would think as believers this would be easy, but sometimes it is important to refocus our hearts and minds on why we need to be thankful. To aid in this process, here are ten Scriptures that will help you reflect on thankfulness. 

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1. Thankfulness Is God’s Will for You

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“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

The first thing we must recognize about thankfulness is this is God’s will for you and for me. God not only desires us to be thankful, but he also commands it. So many people question what God’s will is for their life, well here is one thing you do not have to question. God wants you to be thankful, but here is the critical part of this verse – be thankful in all circumstances. This means a heart of thankfulness is not dependent upon your circumstances; it supersedes them. No matter what happens in your life, be thankful. This may not always be easy, but it is what God requires.

2. Thankfulness Is the Way into God’s Presence

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations”

(Psalm 100:4-5).

If you were to create a proper way to enter God’s presence, this is it. You come with singing and thanksgiving. When you come to prayer in this fashion, it sets the right focus in so many ways. For one, it reminds you of how big God really is, how faithful he has been, and it can help your faith as you remember all God has done for you. Before you ask for anything, why not begin by thanking him for the many things he has done already. Just a note when you start thanking him, you might be there a while because he has done so much.

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3. Thankfulness for God’s People

thanksgiving dinner prayer

“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:16).

When was the last time you rejoiced and were thankful for the work God has done in his people? When was the last time you were thankful for your own salvation and for the salvation of others? What if instead of fighting with your brother or sister over things that are temporary, we started rejoicing over them because of the things that are eternal.

Let us strive to be people who are thankful for those who have come to faith in Christ and for those who will – not just in the country you live in but all over the world. It is time to celebrate the work God has done in others.

4. Thankfulness That Comes with Singing and Worship

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care”

(Psalm 95:1-7).

A thankful heart is a singing and worshipful heart. I do not think you can detach the two. People who don’t value worship or can’t sing for joy don’t truly understand their salvation. I might even question if they know Jesus at all. When you recognize what Jesus has done in your life, there is no other response but worship. I could go on here, or as some pastors would say I feel like preaching, but I must get to more Scriptures, so I will save that sermon for another day.

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5. Thankfulness Demonstrates Your Maturity

Open Bible atop a pile of autumn leaves

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

A growing Christian is a thankful Christian. If someone is ungrateful or reaches a place of entitlement, it is evidence they are immature. If Jesus is Lord of your life and if you are being built up in him, you are going to be thankful. Part of the reason is because you recognize who you are and how unworthy you really are of all the things God has done for you, beginning with salvation. If you find yourself lacking in thankfulness, then you need to examine your heart and see how mature in Christ you really are.

6. Thankfulness as a Lifestyle

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 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 3:15-17).

Imagine if every Christian lived a lifestyle of gratitude. Imagine if we were all motivated by the same goal. To do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, being thankful in the process. How would that change your outlook on everything you do? Why not try it today? In everything you do today, do it all in the name of Jesus and give thanks to God because he has allowed you to do it. I think this will change your attitude in the things you do.

Related Resource:

Breathe: The Stress Less Podcast is dedicated to refreshing your soul with rest and sparking joy, so you can feel God’s love and peace. You can listen to an episode by clicking the play button below. For more episodes, visit LifeAudio.com!

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7. Thankfulness as a Reminder of How Good God Is

Woman raising hands outside

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Cry out, ‘Save us, God our Savior;
gather us and deliver us from the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
and glory in your praise.’
Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

“Then all the people said ‘Amen’ and ‘Praise the Lord’” (1 Chronicles 16:34-36).

I just have one thing to say here. Stop and remember God’s goodness to you. Not just in one moment, but in the seasons of your life. Do that long enough and thankfulness will flow from your heart.

8. Thankfulness as a Witness to Others

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High” 

(Psalm 9:1-2).

Is there a better witness than sharing with others the wonderful things God has done in your life? If you do this, please do not limit yourself to material things, because those things are nice and we should be thankful for them, but they are temporary. Instead talk more about the things God has done in your life that are eternal and can never be taken away.

God blessing you with a new house now is great, but God providing you an eternal home is even greater. Remember the true blessings of God transcend this life and last forever. We should never stop sharing those.

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9. Thankfulness That We Get to Participate

Book of Psalms opened with fall leaves surrounding the Bible

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:12-13).

Isn’t it amazing that God has made you part of his purpose and plan? He allows you to participate in his work to build his kingdom. I love that Paul says Jesus considered him trustworthy. Just like Paul, there is something Jesus has for you to do that is just as important as the work Paul did. Be thankful that he allows you to participate, and one way to show your thankfulness is by being trustworthy to the work God has called you to do.

10. Thankfulness for Our Eternal Home

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:28-29).

The last thing I want you to be thankful for is your eternal home. So often we get distracted by the things happening around us, and to a degree I understand. However, let’s not forget that we are pilgrims and citizens at the same time. Though we live on earth, we are pilgrims here. Our citizenship is in heaven, and we are part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken, that cannot be overthrown, and that lasts forever. Even if God gives you one hundred years on this earth, you are still just passing through and the kingdom of God is your final destination, so be thankful for your eternal home.

I hope these Scriptures create in you a heart of thankfulness. There are so many others in addition to this that can do that. This season, let’s never stop being thankful, because we really do serve an awesome God. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Clarence Haynes 1200x1200Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com