What Does the Bible Say About Being Thankful

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The Bible has a lot to say about thanksgiving. When teaching our children how to be thankful we can discover what does the Bible say about being thankful. Next, look at how others in the Bible responded. Even when Jesus was teaching how to pray, he acknowledged God’s holiness and daily provision. (Matthew 6:9-13)

what does the bible say about being thankful

Scripture Passages on what does the Bible say about Being Thankful


Philippians 4:4-7 
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Colossians 3:15-17
1 Chronicles 16:7-39
Psalm 100 
Psalm 118
Hebrews 12:28-29
2 Corinthians 9:6-15

What can we learn about giving thanks from these passages?
What can we learn about God’s character
How can we apply this to our family and your life?

What can we learn from the Bible about thankfulness
People look to the present and are thankful for what they have and acknowledge it comes from god. People look to the past to see how God has been faithful to save.  People look to the future with hope and confidence he will keep his promises. Others can be thankful to God and turn to Him when we are generous with the gifts He has given us.

Be thankful for what you have right now
In the present, look around and see all your blessings. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” James 1:17 The more you focus on gratitude you will find that being thankful can shift your attitude and mindset. This is especially helpful if you are trying to show appreciation as a family. There are many ways to show gratitude such as prayer, worship, journaling and more. Keep reading for more ideas. 

Be thankful for what God has done in the past
If you are feeling overwhelmed and can not see anything good at the moment. Look at what God has done in the past to see his pattern of loving care. Look back in your journals, or write a list of how God has blessed you in the past. You could even look at others and see how God has blessed your friends and family. What characteristics and patterns do you see?

Throughout the Bible in the Old and New testament writers have recounted all that God has done for them. Some examples include: saving Noah from the flood, Moses and the exodus, protection in battle, and of course Jesus giving his life for us. Read through the Scripture passages above and let your heart be filled with gratitude. There are so many Bible stories to help your kids see what does the Bible say about being thankful.

what does the bible say about being thankful

Be thankful for what is to come
God keeps his promises. We see that throughout history. Each promise in the Old Testament, each covenant, each prophecy came true and was fulfilled. We can look forward with confidence knowing that God will continue to be faithful and care for us. Jesus promises us forgiveness of sins, eternal life, peace, his love and presence. What are you looking forward to? How does it make you feel, knowing that God is still looking after us?

Teaching your children about gratitude
Here are some practical tips to reading the Bible with your children and applying everything we’ve talked about with your family.

  • Decide how long you want to spend talking about thankfulness. If it is one day pick one aspect of this post that resonated most with you and focus on that. If it is longer then choose a few passages and points to highlight.
  • Keep your Bible time short and enjoyable. Focus on connection rather than plowing through and doing lots of activities. We want our children to connect with the Lord and love him, not be overwhelmed or bored.
  • Get the whole family involved as much as possible. When everyone gets excited then it is easier to see that you value what is being taught.
  • After reading a passage, discuss what you read, ask questions, think about how to apply the passage to your life
  • Be sure to model thankfulness and gratitude in your prayers, saying grace or at bedtime
  • Kids connect well to visual and physical activities. I’ve listed a few activities you can do with your children below.

Activities you can do with children to show thanksgiving

  • Make a gratitude journal or grab my freebie.
  • Make a poster to write on or grab a pack of sticky notes to write what you are thankful for. Add to it each day.
  • Write your own Psalm of thanksgiving.
  • Interview friends and family to see if they have a unique story of how God blessed them.
  • Write a song, play an instrument, sing or make an art project that reflects your thankfulness. Remember it is about the process not the final product. It is about the heart, not necessarily how the finished product looks on the outside.
  • Look up different names for God and notice how many relate to characteristics of His provision and care.
  • Learn and research different synonyms for thankfulness and even learn those words in different languages.
  • Practice showing gratitude towards others. Make a point of modeling that when your child does something you can thank them for
What Does the Bible Say About Being Thankful

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Meaghan Jackson has taken her passion for bringing peaceful calm to family life and pairs that with her background in education to help parents become more confident and well equipped. As a Christian family it is important for her to center everything on the Word of God.

Learn more about Meghan’s work on her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram

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