As women, like Martha, we want to make sure everything is in place and is ready for Thanksgiving Day! I wanted everything to be over-the-top special, wonderful, and perfect. I really understand that!
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
The story of Mary and Martha is one we can return to study again and again in our walk of faith because the lesson is timeless. We all have aspects of Mary and Martha within us. As we read and study the passage, we can reflect on these questions:
- Do I have my priorities in order?
- Like Martha, am I worried or anxious about many things, or, like Mary, am I focused on listening to Jesus and spending time in his presence?
- Have I put devotion to Christ and his word first, or am I more concerned about doing good deeds?
- Am I keeping a thankful heart.
Today let us talk about keeping a thankful heart for Thanksgiving… As we begin to prepare for the busiest season of the year, Thanksgiving, it is time to give thanks with a thankful heart.
Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays of the year. To me, it signifies the ending of summer and the beginning of beautiful fall leaves and all the holidays we have ahead.
In the midst of busyness and pressures, just to pause and give thanks, for all that God has done, and continues to do in our lives, is the will of God.
As we draw nearer to the Thanksgiving season, I am reminded of the many things I am thankful for. For some people, Thanksgiving is just a holiday where the family get together eat lots of turkey and dressing and watch football.
But Thanksgiving is much more than that. As Christians, we should give thanks to God every day for what He has done and continues to do in our lives. It is a reason why Thanks- giving is called Thanksgiving.
It is a time when we can gather together as the body of Christ, to give thanks for everything God has done for us.
Sometimes it is hard to give thanks, but in order to see God’s power move in your life, this is something you must do. I believe in order to move in a level of faith, you must live with a thankful heart.
I believe if you can just take time out of your busy schedule just to start thinking God for your family, children, spouse, the food that you eat, your perfect health, and so much more, you will find yourself moving into worship. Because we are made to worship and give thanks to God. All things are created by God and for Him, and our only answer is “thank you.”
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
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What Does the Bible Means by Give Thanks in All Circumstances?
Throughout the Old and New Testament, we are commanded to be giving thanks to God for everything and sing of his wondrous works.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, says we will have difficulties, and in those difficulties, we should be glad and look at them as blessings. What? Troubles a blessing.
And Paul, who was shipwrecked, beaten, left for dead, abandoned, and jailed during his ministry, says, rejoice and be glad at all times, in everything. He wrote those words while chained to a guard. Rejoice in the Lord, always! I Say again, rejoice!
David, who had much to complain about, but instead praised God for his troubles. He was being chased and hunted by the king just because he was good with a slingshot. Yet, David praised God for problems.
And Job, we cannot forget the man whom God allowed to lose everything. Job lost all he had, everything, and then his friends ridiculed him and said it was his fault he had so many problems.
At the end of his suffering, Job said he had known God, but in his trials, he had seen God. Job was thankful for his sufferings. They helped him see God, not merely know God.
This kind of thankfulness and gratitude pleases God. It is easy to be thankful for the good things, and God gives us plenty of those, He lavishes us in grace and mercy every day. But what is our first thought in times of trouble? Is it thankfulness and gratitude?
Paul said, says that giving thanks “is the will of God concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
When you give thanks, you are in the will of God. To give thanks is to position yourself in God’s will. This is critical because “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans8:28)
Giving Him thanks is acknowledging His sovereignty and demonstrating a heart of faith in the truth that He is the master Planner and Architect … working all things together for good to those who love Him and to those who are called according to His purposes.
God says to give thanks in everything. That does not mean you need to give thanks FOR everything. You do not need to give thanks for having a bad day. Or for a bad relationship between friends.
Or a job being passed over you at work, for someone that do not work every day, but your work ethics are perfect.
That is a very important distinction, and one I think we often miss. Giving thanks IN everything shows a heart of faith that God is bigger than the difficulties and that He can use them, if you approach Him with the right heart and spirit, for your good and His glory.
The psalmist says: “It is good to give thanks to the LORD” (Psalm 92 :1).
Psalm 100:4 says: “Give thanks to Him, bless His name.”
Psalm 103: 1-5 says: “Bless the LORD, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
God has given us ample reasons to thank Him.
In fact, the Bible goes so far as to say that it is evil not to thank God. Paul says in Romans 1:21 that unrighteous men “did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
God is the entity that is the most taken for granted in the universe. There is absolutely nothing we can do that is not dependent on Him. Every breath we take depends on Him to provide the oxygen as well as to make our lungs work.
Everything we have is supplied by a source beyond us. The money in our wallets was printed from the paper from trees that God made in the ground that He owns.
The cars we drive were fitted together from the metal that God placed in the earth. The gold jewelry we wear around our necks or wrists, or fingers is from a deposit God provided.
Scripture says over and over that God is the source of all good things, so we know He does not want us to forget the fact that He gave us everything we have. It is all His.
Yet we are all ungrateful at times, unhappy with what we have and wanting more of what we do not have. These attitudes prevent us from focusing on God’s graciousness. No matter where we may or may not be spiritually, financially, physically, or emotionally, it is never OK to have an ungrateful attitude.
Related: 3 Simple Ways to Be Thankful to God
Why Is It Important to Give Thanks in All Things?
God has done so much for us. Perhaps you are at a point where everything in your life seems to be going wrong. You are struggling to find something to be thankful for. Are you alive? Are you healed in your body? Even if your body is not well, Jesus healed you over 2,000 years ago. That is something to praise God for and be thankful!
Colossians chapter 1 gives believers many reasons to be thankful.
12 Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
We can always that God for saving us and forgiving our sins. We can be thankful for the unfair advantage we have as a result of the Greater One who lives inside of us and leads and guides us.
It does not matter how bad a situation looks, are how hard a challenge seems to be, we are never alone. Just be thankful for that.
Paul and Silas had been badly beaten and thrown in jail for preaching the Gospel. They did not know if they would live to see another day. But despite their situation, they began to pray and sing praises to God.
They knew that their God was great, and He was more than able to deliver them out of any circumstances.
It would have been easy for Paul and Silas to pout at that moment, but they chose to shout praises to God. They chose to maintain an attitude of thanksgiving.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. Acts 16:25-26 (KJV)
The Bible tells us, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Thessalonians 5:16-18
It is important to give thanks because it is the will of God. God inhabits the praises of His people.
God is equally present in us and desires to live within our hearts in the same way. Psalm 22:3 alludes to this fact when it says, “But thou art holy, O thou that the inhabitest praises of Israel.”
One of the ways that we rejoice is by practicing gratitude and expressing thanksgiving to God. Thus, many of these Bible verses about gratitude will talk about giving thanks to God. Why?
How Do You Express Gratitude on Thanksgiving?
The Thanksgiving season is a great time to show gratitude, and it is an excellent time to get started embracing the joys of the season. We all have so many things to be grateful for.
Simply just waking up every morning is enough to be thankful. Whatever it is, we should be grateful for what the call God has on our lives, our families, and the people he puts into our lives to draw us closer to him.
Here are some ideas or different ways we can show gratitude during Thanksgiving.
- Spend Time with Family. Oftentimes the greatest gift we can give our loved ones is just spending time with them. Use the time around Thanksgiving to reconnect with friends and family. Leave phone numbers where you can keep in touch with them.
- Being thankful for friends. When preparing your thanksgiving meal, make an extra meal for your neighbor, and friends that drop by.
- Help with the Preparing of the Thanksgiving Dinner. It is easy to let other family members prepare the Thanksgiving meal. An extra hand will be a great blessing.
- Make time for an old friend
You can show someone in your life your gratitude by giving them the gift of your time. If you have someone that you have been wanting to connect with recently and simply have not been able to, now is your chance.
It is a Time to shower your family and friends with love. “Thanksgiving is a joyous invitation to shower your family and friends with love and gratitude.”
- Share memories and goals. The holidays are all about creating and sharing memories. Remember the past year, relive your favorite moments, and find the good that came from the bad. You will feel closer to your loved ones and discover a more meaningful type of Thanksgiving gratitude.
- Give Thanks.
A daily habit of thanksgiving before your day starts is so important to start your day right. Thanking God in good times is easy, but how do we do it when life takes a turn? It takes an act of the will
A grateful spirit does wonders for our hearts and outlooks on problems and life in general. Practicing thankfulness helps us move from what isn’t to what is. It moves our attention to what God is doing wherever we find ourselves.
- Thank God especially in the midst of adversity.
God doesn’t ask you to be thankful for the problems you face, but He does want you to trust Him by thanking Him in spite of them. Paul said, “Give thanks in all circumstances,” not for all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18).
Anytime will be a great time to express your gratitude. I like to express my gratitude the first thing in the mornings before my day starts, I begin to thanks God for the day I am grateful for.
Like Mary, acknowledging what God has done for me was the better thing and the right thing and the only best response to God on this day and every day!
This Thanksgiving, I pray that you will have a THANKS-giving day! Practicing the presence of God all day and keeping a running tab of not what you have to do but of what you are thankful for.
This Thanksgiving I will be thanking God for you! You are such a blessing in my life!
May the Lord bless you and give you thankful hearts!
This is a beautiful verse…
Give thanks to the LORD for He is Good. His love endures forever. Ps 126:1
Thankful Heart Quotes
“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.” Will Arnett
“Live a life full of humility, gratitude, intellectual curiosity, and never stop learning.” GZA
“Always have an attitude of gratitude.” Sterling K. Brown
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
“The heart that gives thanks is a happy one, for we cannot feel thankful and unhappy at the same time.” Douglas Wood
Here are 17 Thankful Heart Bible Verses
Please note that all Bible verses are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
COLOSSIANS 2:6-7 (NKJV)
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted, and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
ISAIAH 12:4-5 (NASB)
And on that day, you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; make them remember that His name is exalted.” Praise the LORD in song, for He has done glorious things; let this be known throughout the earth.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
1 CHRONICLES 16:34 (ESV)
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!
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.”
PSALM 95:1-5 (NKJV)
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God, and the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth’ the heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.
PSALM 118:24 (ESV)
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
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.
1 CHRONICLES 29:13 (NKJV)
“Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name.”
EPHESIANS 5:18-20 (NASB)
… but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father.
PSALM 107:1-3 (ESV)
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Blessed are those who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart — they do no wrong but follow His ways.
You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:15
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Free Printable Bible Reading Plans
Are you ready to dive into Scripture in a more intentional way so you can get the most out of the time you spend reading the verses. I pray that this is a place where you can gain encouragement in your prayer life and in your relationship with God! Here you will find a free printables along with Worksheets, “Keeping A Thankful Heart This Thanksgiving” that you can download by clicking on the highlighted links.
You are welcome to use this printable for personal use or in small group Bible studies.
Click the Image to Download:
Have a wonderful day! Enjoy!
With Much Love!