Did you know that Thanksgiving didn’t start in North America? The practice of setting time aside to give thanks for blessings in life goes back thousands of years to the time of the Israelites. And, unlike what we focus on today, the real reason for the holiday is not to celebrate all of the food and material possessions we have.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time to pause and give thanks for all we have in Christ—whether that is our salvation, our family, or simply the gift of God entering our life. And it is from this posture that we can turn to the Lord and ask Him to be with us in the good times and the bad.
Now, with that in mind, here are 10 great Bible verses that will inspire you to give thanks:
1. Psalm 95:2-3
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.
2. 1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
3. Psalm 7:17
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High.
4. Colossians 3:15-17
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 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.
5. Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
6. Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7. 2 Corinthians 4:15-16
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
8. Psalm 106:1
Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
9. James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
10. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
For more about the origins of Thanksgiving, click here and listen to Charles Morris and VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer as they whimsically talk and sing about where the holiday and theme of thanksgiving really comes from.