We live in trying times. Every day the world seems to spin further out of control. Simultaneously, our individual worlds are constantly under threat by the obstacles of life. There are many reactions to these obstacles that come all too naturally to us, but gratitude is not often among them.
At least not for me.
Recently I began experiencing some of the natural changes of womanhood. (Yes, ladies….the “m” word)
I was not prepared for the ups and downs of hormonal changes and I certainly wasn’t feeling grateful in the midst of them.
Hot flashes. Brain fog. Longer cycles.
I was ready to hop off this train and feel normal again.
Each day, each week, and each month I found myself with something new to complain about.
Yet I love that God surrounds me with women who love me and pray for me, but also speak truth to me.
One friend lovingly told me, “God knows your body. He created it. Speak LIFE over it. Speak HIS WORD over it.”
In other words, she was telling me: Stop complaining. Accept the season you are in, and thank Him even in the midst of the struggles.
I knew she was right.
When our world seems out of whack, we can tend to let our focus be on our problems…. which leads to complaining.
God clearly calls us to be thankful. Not FOR all circumstances but IN all circumstances.
He loves to use the difficult times to draw us close…to teach us to rely on Him and thank Him in advance for what He will do.
Seasons are temporary….they don’t last forever.
So here I am, 10 months later…confessing that I need to choose gratitude. It doesn’t come naturally. I am having to choose to make a joyful noise to the Lord. To sing spiritual songs of thankfulness to my Great King. I’m having to read and confess Bible verses about gratitude to get my focus straight.
Maybe you need a healthy dose of gratitude yourself.
Here are 20 inspiring Bible verses about gratitude to encourage your weary heart:
Praise Him in Prayer
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
In the beginning, there was only darkness and chaos, but God spoke creation into order. Perhaps you feel that same chaos beckoning….threatening to overtake you. Jesus outlines exactly how to overcome in this verse. There is a power in us to shape the very foundations of the world and it comes rushing out when our hearts align with His.
When you feel overwhelmed or far from God, bring your chaotic situation to him. Go to Him with a humble heart and a grateful spirit. You will quickly find that God was never far away, rather, He was with you the whole time, working steadfastly on your behalf.
Show Him Gratitude Despite Your Trials
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
Do you remember when you gave your whole heart to God? When He first took all of your sin and shame and gave you his unconditional love and peace? Wasn’t it so easy to be grateful for that inexpressible gift? But what happens when we’ve been living in obedience, when we’ve sacrificed our desires and our own happiness in the pursuit of righteousness and we still experience tragedy, betrayal, and disappointment? In these times it takes faith to thank God in spite of our pain, to thank Him in advance for what He will do. However, it is that same faith that activates the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Thank Him for His Love
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV
Forever. This is a concept that we cannot fully comprehend. We are bound by space and time, but God’s love is not. Human love will always fail, but God’s love endures the darkest nights and the brightest days. It is so fundamental that it transcends the very laws of the natural world. We can always be thankful, because no matter what happens, no matter how much gets stripped away, his love remains, forever.
Rejoice in Salvation
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV
I love that Paul gives us this reminder to rejoice always. He even tells us why….because it is God’s will for us. The word rejoice here, chairō, means to be glad. As followers of Christ, we always have something to rejoice about….salvation in Him. We have a hope in Jesus that the world cannot comprehend. When everything around us seems to be falling apart, we can turn to Him with confidence, knowing that He has us covered. We are secured for eternity with the God of all and for that, we can rejoice!
Be Grateful that He is in Control
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.1 Timothy 4:4-5 NIV
So much of our lives is simply a matter of perspective. Paul says that we see through a glass vaguely, which is a perfect illustration of how we perceive the world on a daily basis. It is ok to be afraid, uncertain, and even doubtful at times. However, we cannot allow those emotions to cloud what we know to be true. God is in control and he is working on our behalf.
Show Gratitude for What He’s Done
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!1 Chronicles 16:8 ESV
There are times when we encounter situations where we genuinely need God to do a miracle in our lives. Other times; however, we simply need to be reminded of the miracles he has already performed. When doubt threatens to engulf us, we can remind ourselves of His amazing power and the battles He has already won for us. When we remember God’s goodness in our lives, we realize we have a lot to be thankful for. As David said in 1Samuel 17, “The LORD who saved me from a lion and a bear will save me from this Philistine.” If He did it last time, He can do it again.
Thanksgiving as a Sacrifice
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!Psalm 50:23 ESV
In this age, we tend to view gratitude as an emotion, as a response to circumstantial improvements. Consequently, when we get what we want, we praise Him with a grateful heart. And when we don’t, we complain to Him. The psalmist knew; however, that thankfulness is best viewed as a sacrifice. In fact, it is in the darkest of times that a heart of gratitude has the greatest effect on our lives. When we are faced with the obstacles of life, we can choose to blame God for our situation or we can make a sacrifice of praise to His glorious name and unleash His blessing and full reward over us.
Be Thankful He is Trustworthy
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.Psalm 28:7 ESV
If we can think of nothing else to be grateful for, we can be thankful that God is trustworthy. In our time of need, we can come to Him, pouring out our hearts and concerns, and He is faithful to respond. If you’re having a hard time finding something to be grateful for today, thank God that He hears your cries and answers your calls.
Gratitude Attracts Others to Christ
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 3:17 NIV
As Christians, we are ambassadors of heaven to a broken world. Therefore, the actions we take and the words we speak should point people back to Christ. However, we don’t just stop at obedience to God to His Word, we must praise him as well. Adherence to biblical statutes may draw some people to a relationship with God, but it is more likely that they see Christ in our grateful praise and love as a result of our relationship with Him.
Express Gratitude for the Little Things
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.Psalm 118:24 ESV
No matter what is going on in our everyday lives, we always have the opportunity to express gratitude to the Lord. When we are facing discouragement or disappointment we can praise Him that we have life in our bones and breath in our lungs. Every day that we have is a gift.
Thankfulness brings Heaven to Earth
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!Psalm 110:4
Thanksgiving and praise lead us into the Presence of God. It draws us into that inner sanctuary where heaven and earth collide. When we send up a sacrifice of thanksgiving to His Holy Name we literally gain a glimpse of heaven and gain perspective higher than our own.
Express Gratitude for His Grace
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG
When we are hyper-focused on our circumstances it may appear that we are fighting an uphill battle. We often forget that we have God on our side, who is constantly orchestrating and intervening on our behalf. Although today may feel overwhelming, His mercy and grace are new every day. We always have something to look forward to tomorrow!
Praise Him for His Faithfulness
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.Philippians 1:6
God is faithful. No matter what we’re facing, God is willing and able to bring us through it. We may, at times, find it difficult for things to be grateful for. I have been there! Yet as we look through His Word, we see many Bible verses on gratitude that point us to how and why we can be grateful.
Gratitude Breaks Off Bitterness
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:20 ESV
That is a bold statement. Give thanks for everything. Why should we do this? Surely God does not expect us to be happy when tragedy strikes. Yet, gratitude is not the same as happiness. God does not command us to give thanks always in order to condemn us or because he does not care. Rather, he commands it because he knows that gratitude has the power to break the hold of bitterness and resentment in our lives.
Thank God for His Promises
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28 ESV
In Ephesians 5:20, God commands us to give thanks and in Romans 8:28 he gives us a reason why. You may be facing difficulties in your life right now, and you may even be in the midst of great suffering, but you can always hold on to the promise that God has called you to his purpose. If you are called by God, your best days are still ahead.
Praise without Ceasing
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.Hebrews 13:15 ESV
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul tells the church to pray without ceasing. The above verse could be summed up as a command to praise without ceasing. We often forget that worship is more than merely an act, it is a lifestyle. Praise was designed from the beginning to be a way of living, not a response to our subjective understanding of an answered prayer. As Paul encourages us above, we have the privilege and opportunity to thank God continually for all that He does.
Thank the Lord for His Provision
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.Psalm 107:8-9
God is beyond us. He thinks and acts on a level that we cannot comprehend. While we contemplate the difficulties of our situations, he is already at the end, carefully crafting the story of our redemption. He knows the end from the beginning.
So often we think we know what is best for us, but that is rarely the case. Many times we will cry out for God’s provision in one area and he will deliver provision in another. No matter what we lack in life, we can stand strong on the fact that although God may not always give us what we want, he will always give us what we need.
Faith Produces Gratitude
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.1 Peter 1:7 NIV
Faith only grows when it is tested. Your life may not be going the way you thought it would. Maybe you feel that God has forgotten you. These are opportunities for your faith to grow stronger. Life is full of challenges, at times it will test you to the very core. But if you choose the path of faith, it will result in a life of praise and glory to Him.
Thankfulness Produces Peace
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.Colossians 3:15 NIV
Thankfulness and peace go hand in hand. Perhaps the reason we grow anxious is because of our tendency to allow life to make us focus on our lack rather than our abundance. Perhaps if we adopted a thankful heart in times of trouble, our lives would be defined by peace instead of anxiety and chaos.
Be Thankful for God’s Gifts
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.James 1:17 ESV
We’ve all had good and bad things happen in life. When we focus only on the bad, we fail to see God’s hand at work. He is responsible for all good things in our lives. He is faithful and good and there is nothing dark in Him. When we praise Him and show gratitude for His gifts, we are acknowledging His goodness.
Do you confess Bible verses about gratitude when you feel discontent or do you tend to complain?
Joyce Meyer once said, “Complain and remain or Praise and be raised.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to cultivate a heart of gratitude. I want to praise God and watch Him move.
Because the truth is, I know that He is in control. Regardless of the season I am in, His steadfast love remains. He is faithful. He will see me through.