Five Bible Verses about Thanksgiving When Life Gets Hard

If you read all the Bible verses about thanksgiving, you will be reading one hundred and eight verses.  Do you get the impression that God wants us to be grateful?  

Are you having trouble finding reasons to be thankful?  Are you struggling to express your appreciation?  

If you are struggling with hardships in your life, it can be difficult to find reasons to be thankful.  All you can see is the heartache.  All you can feel is the heavy burden weighing on your shoulders.  Other times you might feel appreciative, but you cannot find the words to express how grateful you feel in your heart.

Every one of us has been blessed more than we can count.  I love the song, “Count your  blessings.”  It is a song that reminds me that even when I think that things cannot get any worse, I can count my blessing and be surprised at how much God has done for me.

It is a wonderful thing to be thankful.  It is transformative.  Spending time thinking about reasons to be thankful will transform your attitude from feeling sorry for yourself to realizing how good you have it.    

If you do not already do this, consider starting a gratitude journal.  Spend time each night writing one reason why you are thankful.  It will change the way you look at your life.  Then on those days when you are feeling alone, hopeless, and discouraged, take out your journal and remind yourself that you are truly blessed.

It is hard to be thankful when you are being beat up by life.  Maybe you are having financial hardships struggling to make ends meet.  Maybe you are having marital problems and you and your husband or wife cannot stop fighting.  Maybe you are having emotional problems, and you are having trouble seeing your own value. 

Give some thought to these Bible verses about thanksgiving.  Write them down and put them in your journal.  Put them on post-it notes and stick them on your computer monitor.  Maybe they will serve as a reminder that you have reasons to be thankful.  

Bible Verses About Thanksgiving Even When You are Stressed

1.  Philippians 4.6:  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”

Another way of saying, “Be anxious for nothing” is “Don’t worry about anything.”  

Easier said than done!

What can help us overcome the worries and stresses in our lives?  The verse goes on to say that we are to “let your requests be made known to God.”  If there are reasons in your life to be worried, this verse tells us to take our concerns to God.  

After you pray to God and tell Him know about what is worrying you, you can then enjoy a peace of mind  (Phil. 4.7).  You can know that God will be there for you.  You can put your mind at ease knowing that your worries are now in the hands of God.  

Right in the middle of this verse, you will find the words “with thanksgiving.”  This brings to mind two thoughts.

  1. Even when there are things in your life that cause you stress, there are still reasons to be thankful.  We are to take our concerns to God in prayer, and in doing so, also express to God how thankful we are for the blessings in our lives.
  2. Be thankful that you have God in your life.  What a wonderful blessing to know that you can pray to God and express your concerns to Him.  What a blessing to know that He will not only listen, but He will give you the help that you need.  

2.  1 Thessalonians 5.18:  “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

What are those things for which we are to be thankful?  This verse says that we are to be thankful for everything.  

You mean, we are to be thankful for the difficulties in our lives?  Yes!  You mean, we are to be thankful when we don’t have the things we need?  Yes!  You mean, we are to be thankful when we are being mistreated by others?  Yes!  

We are not only to be thankful for the good things in our lives, but also the for bad.  

  • When we are suffering, we are thankful that we have a God who will always be there for us.  (Heb. 13.5)
  • When we don’t have everything we need, it reminds us of how much we need God.  (Matt. 5.4)
  • When we are being mistreated, it reminds us of how Jesus was mistreated  (1 Pet. 4.13)
  • When we are struggling, it is helping us to become stronger.  (Rom. 5.3,4)

Bible Verses about Thanksgiving for Those in Your Life

3.  Philippians 1.3:  “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”

Paul had a special relationship with the Christians in Philippi.  He writes that “I have you in my heart”  (Phil. 1.7).  He tells them “how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ”  (Phil. 1.8).

In this verse, Paul is expressing thanksgiving for the people in his life.  He is essentially saying that every time he thinks of them, he tells God how thankful he is to have them in his life.

Are you thankful for the people in your life?  Are you thankful for your friends, your family, your children, your spouse?  

Even though the people in our lives can sometimes be difficult, we still love them.  Sometimes we have a hard time getting along with them, but we are still grateful for them.  

Never forget to let them know just how much they mean to you.  And never forget to thank God for bringing them into your life.  

When you are looking for a reason to be thankful, look to your family and friends.    

Bible Verses about Thanksgiving for God

4.  Romans 7.25:  “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

In this passage, the apostle Paul is writing about his struggle with sin.  He is feeling defeated.  It seems that the devil has the upper hand.  In the previous verse, Paul expresses desperation.  “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?”   (Rom. 7.24).   

The very next verse Paul writes, “I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord”

Why do you suppose Paul was grateful?  He was in bondage to sin, and he did not see a way out.  He was looking for a solution.  He was desperate for deliverance.  Who would be able to deliver him from this body of death?  The answer is Jesus.  

It was Jesus who saved him.  It was Jesus who delivered him.  It was Jesus who took away his sins.  Paul was grateful for being delivered from sin and saved by Jesus.

Is God in your life?  Have you been cleansed from your past sins  (Acts 22.16; Titus 3.5)?  If you have become a Christian and are serving God, you have reason to be thankful.    

5.  Psalm 136.1:  “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

If you look at Psalm 136 carefully, you may notice a pattern.  Each verse ends with the phrase, “For His mercy endures forever.”  You may also notice that verse one begins with the word “Oh, give thanks to the Lord.”   You will find the same words are in the last verse of the psalm.  

This is a psalm in which David is giving thanks to God.  He is expressing his gratitude for God’s mercy.  

The Bible concept of mercy is to step into the shoes of someone else to understand what it feels like to be in their situation.  Then you step back into your shoes and treat that person the way you would want to be treated if the situation was reversed.  

Over and over, David is praising God because He feels for and sympathizes with David.  

Are you going through difficulties?  Are you facing hardship?  Have you made mistakes and want to get your life back in order?  God feels for you and sympathizes with you.  He then intercedes in your life to help you.  For that, we can be truly thankful.  

There is one more thought that needs our attention in reference to these Bible verses about Thanksgiving.  Being thankful can lift our spirits and transform our thinking.  Equally so, ingratitude can lead us in the wrong direction.  

Romans 1.22-31 gives us a detailed description of all that is wrong with the world.  It tells about those who were filled with uncleanness (Rom. 1.24).  It tells us about those who had vile passions (Rom. 1.26).  It tells us about those who had a debased mind (Rom. 1.28).  

What was the cause of all this ungodliness?  The answer is all the way back in verse 21.  From this verse we learn that these individuals “did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened”  (Rom. 1.21).  

All of their behavior stemmed, at least in part, from their unwillingness to be thankful to God.  

These Bible verses about thanksgiving remind us of how much we have to be thankful for.  Though we may struggle with day to day difficulties or face what seems to be an insurmountable obstacle in our path, God is still there for us.  God has still showeres us with more blessing than we can count.  And for that, we are thankful.  


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