As Thanksgiving approaches and we remember what we have to be thankful for, it’s time to see what the Bible says about gratitude as well. After all, who should we be thanking more than God? The authors of the Bible understood that we owe everything to God, from salvation to our every breath, and included plenty of passages on expressing our gratitude to God.
Bible Verses About Gratitude
Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with prayers of thanks for what God has done or, in some cases, what God promised to do. As you make a list of things you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving, don’t forget what these Bible verses include! Try reading these around the Thanksgiving table:
- 1 Chronicles 16:34
- Jonah 2:9
- Psalm 9:1
- 1 Corinthians 15:56-57
- Revelation 5:13
1) 1 Chronicles 16:34
This is one of several very popular verses commonly read at Thanksgiving. The context of this verse gives an interesting perspective on what was happening at the time it was written. King David was in the process of setting up and dedicating a tabernacle for the Ark of the Covenant, which had been largely neglected when Saul was king. This passage is a line from the song of praise and thanks sung by David and the priests during their worship. They had much to be thankful for, as well as much to repent of since they had neglected the Ark for so long. This verse presents hope and a promise of future change.
2) Jonah 2:9
Jonah’s promise to give thanks to God and honor his promises came from a very interesting place: the belly of the fish. While this can be (and often is) interpreted as a principle saying to give thanks in all circumstances, another verse conveys this much more clearly. This verse is less about giving thanks in general and more about repentance since Jonah is promising to finally do what God told him to do. The thanks being offered would then refer to praise for being forgiven.
3) Psalm 9:1
Many of the Psalms were intended to be worship songs for the ancient Jewish people. The first two verses of this particular psalm talk about thanking and praising God, and as the chapter continues, we see just what the author is praising God for. This chapter isn’t a generic prayer of thanks for blessings and help, but praising God as a mighty warrior who destroyed His and Israel’s enemies. Remember, this was a worship song! The Israelites were certainly not shy about remembering why they had survived so long and praising God’s true power.
Pro Tip: This Thanksgiving, remember that in addition to a loving Provider, God is also a strong warrior that defends His children from harm.
4) 1 Corinthians 15:56-57
This expression of thanks is directly related to one’s salvation. As other Bible passages say, we deserve death for our sins, and the law was designed to show us our sin. As the only way to salvation, Jesus provides us with the victory over both our sin and the penalty we deserve through His sacrifice. All we could possibly do is recognize how sinful we are–Jesus did the rest. That’s definitely worth a thank you!
5) Revelation 5:13
“And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’ ” (Revelation 5:13)
Revelation is perhaps the most mysterious and differently interpreted book in the entire Bible. But regardless of how you ultimately interpret this challenging book, one ultimate theme shines through: in the end, God will be victorious over sin, death, Satan, and all evil. Jesus’ sacrifice and power mean that nothing contrary to God’s nature will continue to thrive. For believers, this is a wonderful promise as it means the end of all suffering and death forever. Even the animals are shown praising God for this promise in this particular verse! This Thanksgiving, we can be grateful that God will ultimately win and make everything right.
All too often, we forget to stop and be thankful for every little comfort or convenience we experience. This Thanksgiving, thank God for everything He has provided for you and encourage others to do the same. An attitude of thankfulness is excellent to maintain all year round.
Join the conversation to read and share more of your favorite Bible verses about gratitude!