Thanksgiving [Bible study]

Thanksgiving means the act of expressing thankfulness. It’s the act of giving thanks for what we are grateful for. (

I love that it says expressing, meaning it’s not just a feeling, its saying and acting in a way that says we are grateful. We cannot conjure thanksgiving where we don’t feel grateful, it is impossible.

When we give thanks to God, it has to flow from a place of recognizing that we are indeed blessed. It has to come from a place of gratefulness.

Why do we give thanks to God?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

We are to be thankful in everything

We are to give thanks in all things, He doesn’t say for all things, but in all things. This doesn’t mean that we give thanks for what is evil in our lives. But, we can be postured in a way that enables us to find something to give thanks for even in challenging circumstances.

We can give thanks because we know that God promises to work out all things for good and according to his purpose for us( Romans 8:28). So even in things we cannot comprehend and see God’s goodness in. We can give thanks because He is working it out for good in the end.

It is God’s will for us

Thanksgiving isn’t something we get to do when we feel like it. We are told it’s God’s will for us. When we come in with this mind, that God is looking for praise from us even in these circumstances, we will be able to do what is pleasing to Him.

It is a sacrifice before the Lord

Through him let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15

It is called a sacrifice of praise. Why? Because in most cases we will not have the inclination to be grateful in everything. We will probably be tempted to grumble and be discontented.

Whenever we choose to come before God in thanksgiving even when we don’t feel like it, we bring Him a worthy sacrifice.

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God. Psalms 50:23

The phrase “sacrifice of thanksgiving” is repeated. God says when we bring Him a sacrifice of praise we truly honor Him. In doing this, we set ourselves up for Him to show up in our lives. When we are mindful to give thanks we, in turn, will see –His goodness, deliverance, healing, provision, and protection in our lives. (His salvation encompasses all these things).

Thanksgiving is prayer

Thanksgiving is quintessential to prayer. We cannot separate the two. Whenever there is prayerlessness in our lives we can connect it back to a lack of thankfulness.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4

The psalmist gives us a roadmap into God’s presence. We never enter unless we come first with thanksgiving and praise. We give thanks and we bless His name

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

We come before Him anxious for nothing, bringing our requests -sprinkled heavily with thanksgiving.

I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:16

In giving thanks for them, he was praying for them.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2

They were exhorted to continue in prayer and to watch through thanksgiving. When we give thanks we are being watchful so that the enemy doesn’t take advantage of us. e are watchful so that we don’t grow callous and bitter towards God.

It’s how we remember His benefits

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefitswho forgives all your sins and heal all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. Psalm 103: 1-5

The psalmist takes the time to name all the benefits God had bestowed upon him. In times when you cannot remember the last good thing God did for you, you can use this scripture to remind yourself.

He says He forgives all of my sins- not some but all. He heals all my diseases. He redeems my life from destruction and corruption( Halleluyah!) His lovingkindness and mercy are new every morning and crown my life. He satisfies my desires with good things( not evil things but good!) and because of all these good benefits, my youth is renewed!

We give thanks for He is good

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Gods of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1-2

We give thanks for His goodness. He is good and does kind things to us. Even when we can’t quite feel it, He is still good to us. Even when we cannot see it, His steadfast love remains.

What Happens when we don’t give thanks?


For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. And exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:21,23

Because they chose not to honor and give thanks to Him, idolatry was a subsequent result. In refusing to give Him glory and praise, they turned their hearts to worship idols.

Idolatry is often a result of a lack of intentional gratefulness towards God. whenever we chose to give our hearts to other things we have first chosen not to come before Him in thanksgiving.

Murmuring and grumbling

We should not tempt the Lord( try his patience, become a trial to him, critically appraise him and exploit his goodness) as some of them did. 1 Corinthians 10: 9

Paul here is referencing Numbers 21:4-6 when the Israelites grumbled and murmured before the Lord.

He says they critically appraised God. To appraise means to assess the value or quality of something.

They put God to the test not to see all the good He had done but to criticize Him. We can critically appraise God through our murmuring. We can look at everything we think He hasn’t done in our lives and grumble. Nonetheless, we can also choose to thankfully appraise God for all the things He has done in our lives.


Discontentment is a close sister to murmuring and grumbling. They often go together. When there is a spirit of murmuring, there will also be discontentment in our lives.

Nor discontentedly complain as some of them did and were put out of the way by the destroyer (death). 1 Corinthians 10:10

Right behind their grumbling was discontentment towards their portion in this season.

Are you discontentedly comparing your life to someone else’s life? Are you asking God for someone else’s life? Social media has given us a lie that other people’s lives are better than ours. We sit for hours scrolling through people’s well-curated ‘highlights’ and believe that God has short-changed us.

You can be content in whatever season you find yourself in. Contentment is often a choice as much as being grateful is a choice. The fruit of our lives will be determined by what we choose to do with our hearts and how we steward every circumstance we find ourselves in.

Choose to give thanks in everything and you will see the salvation of God in your life.

2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving [Bible study]

  1. Lucy, the best antidote to grumbling or feeling discontent is to intentionally give praise and thanks. Personally I have found that it changes my perspective when I do it. I really like the point of the sacrifice of praise- I had shared about it at one point. And it is lovely to see you touch on that too. Your idolatry point- made me think on that.
    A good post. Blessings to you 💙💐

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s