Thanksgiving is almost here and that means everyone is talking about what they're thankful for. Any group gathering between November 1st and Thanksgiving is bound to bring up the question: "What are you thankful for this year?" For many going through rough patches, however, this activity can bring you down. You might not feel very thankful for anything, but is there really nothing to be thankful for?
The Bible reminds us that even in our valleys things are never as hopeless as they seem. You may be frustrated with your relationships or your financial situation or your job, but the act of finding thankfulness, especially in the hardest times is important in building our relationship and trust in God. If we are able to praise Him and thank Him in the midst of struggle, then we have the power to overcome our negativity and rest in a God who is always blessing us with things to be thankful for.
1. 1 Chronicles 16:34
"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; his love endures forever."
Even when our lives don't give us much to praise, we can always be thankful for God and His unending love.
2. 1 Corinthians 1:4
"I always thank my God for you because of his grace given to you in Christ Jesus."
We can also thank God for our Christian friends and that they found God's grace and will enjoy eternity in Heaven.
3. 1 Corinthians 15:57
"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
We can thank God for giving us victory. With Him at our side, we will never be shaken and we do not need to fear death, because Jesus has already overcome it.
4. Psalm 100:4
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."
Praising and thanking God is important. The only reason we were created in the first place is to praise Him, so we ought to do it!
5. Colossians 3:17
"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."
Giving thanks doesn't have to just mean saying it at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. Giving thanks can be expressed through your actions too! No matter what you say or do, if you point it back to God, you can show thanks.
6. Romans 1:8
"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world."
If you are struggling to think of any good in your personal life, think about the good that's going on in the world. Give thanks for the Christians who are sharing the good news to unreached people groups everywhere.
7. Colossians 1:12
"And giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light."
We can be thankful and joyful when we consider our eternal inheritance with God. If nothing else, we can give thanks for the joy that our future holds.
8. 1Timothy 1:12
"I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service."
We can give thanks for the ability to serve God and do His work on earth. We are the hands and feet of Christ, and for that calling, we can praise Him.
9. John 11:41B
"Father, I thank you that you have heard me."
Give thanks that we have a God who hears our cry. Even if He doesn't always give us what we ask for, He gives us what we need and He will never let us down.
10. 1 Thessalonians 5:16
God calls us to rejoice always. This doesn't mean we have to be happy all the time, or that we can't cry when we're sad, but rather, that even in our sadness, we should still praise Him in our words and deeds.
So if you feel unthankful this year, take heart in knowing that God's blessings are something to praise Him for and that seeking out the good and giving thanks is something God calls us to each and every day.