What Does The Bible Say About Giving Thanks? A Christian Study

by Derek Hill · Print Print · Email Email

Giving thanks is an attitude that shows maturity in our walk with the Lord.The Psalmist wrote: “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.” (Psalm 9:1a) We can choose to grumble or we can choose to give thanks for what we have, be it a little or a lot. As Paul said, “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Philippians 4:11b) Paul is an extremely reliable person on this topic. He was in prison much of his life and also ridiculed by many men of his day for his faith in God. Paul said, “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” (Galatians 6:17b) Being persecuted as he was, he always found time to give thanks. (Ephesians 1:16, Philippians 1:3, Colossians 1:3, etc.) So, what does the Bible say about giving thanks? Let’s see what God says about it!

Being Thankful Is Constant

Colossians 3:17 says, and whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Whether we are working, driving, jogging, sharpening a pencil, breathing or showering, we are told to be thankful.

When you work: thank God for your job.

When you drive: thank God for your car.

When you jog: thank God for your athleticism.

What does the Bible say about giving thanksThe point is that there is always something to be thankful for. While Paul was being tortured in prison he prayed for the churches that he had started and visited. He cared about the people there. Every single time he remembered them he thanked God for them. “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:3) How much stronger would our churches be today if we all thanked God for our fellow brothers and sisters every time we remembered them? Can you imagine how fruitful the work of the church would be?

Giving Thanks Is Commanded

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) It is God’s will that we give thanks always. Therefore, we are in sin if we choose to grumble instead.

We Should Be Thankful When Praying

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) This is no easy feat sometimes. My son had a tragic accident involving 2nd degree burns all over his foot when he was younger. In the midst of his cries of agony I often found myself at a loss for words and thankfulness was absent at times. I could have thanked God that my boy was alive. I could have thanked God that he didn’t need surgery. There were many reasons to thank God in this time, however, when I focused on the craziness I lost focus on the importance of relying on God. As the old saying goes, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”

God Is Worthy Of Our Thanks

Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 106:1) Our God is good all of the time. He deserves our thanks! What has he done in your life worthy of praise? You are alive. That is a great place to start! Take some time to think about all of the things you can give God thanks for.

  • Thank Him for the beautiful sunrise/sunset.
  • Thank Him for beautiful country sides.
  • Thank Him for your close friends and family.
  • Thank Him for your gifts he has blessed you with.
  • Thank Him for your job.
  • Most importantly, thank Him for sending Jesus Christ to us to be crucified on the cross to take away the punishment for our sins! Thank Jesus today!

The Consequences Of Not Being Thankful

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.” (Romans 1:21) If you choose to not give thanks to God, you are in for much trouble. Your thinking will become futile. Your heart will become darkened. Remember Pharaoh from Exodus? God hardened his heart and the results were devastating. Pharaoh lost his first born son. (Exodus 12:29)  He lost much of his army in the Red Sea. (Exodus 14:26-30) When you choose to puff yourself up and leave God behind, you will face calamity eventually.


Giving thanks is something that should be a part of every Christian’s life. Think of things today that you can be thankful for and think about them as much as possible! Give thanks to God for all he has blessed you with. He is worthy of all of our praise! God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Looking for something to sing about? Sing about thanksgiving:

10 Best Thanksgiving Songs

Resources –  The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack Wellman June 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

What a trustworthy source of good, sound biblical knowledge you are my good friend. I truly am thankful to God that you are with us for we are much richer for having known you my brother. Let me use Paul’s words which I feel in my own heart Derek using you by name…”I thank my God in all my remembrance of Derek, always in every prayer of mine for Derek making my prayer with joy, because of Derek’s partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:3) Amen to that!

I just love personalizing Scripture.


Derek Hill June 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Jack, thank you for such kind words! You really blessed me with that comment. I was so full of joy reading it that I prayed and thanked God for you as soon as I finished reading it! You are a wonderful encourager my friend. I have never personalized scripture like you just did, but it is amazing! I will definitely start doing this! I am so thankful for your friendship, Jack! God bless you!


Nikita June 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I thank our Lord for leading me to this site with all its wonderful teachings and teachers.
Thank you, all of you. Long may it prevail.


Derek Hill June 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Thank you so much Nikita! God is so good! It is an honor to be able to write His truths on this site. All praise to the Father! God bless you!


Rajulas June 19, 2013 at 3:59 am

What a blessed thing to have had the opportunity to read such an inspiring peace on thanksgiving? Indeed you are gift to the body of Christ. We intend to start having thanksgiving service every Sunday after church from 4.00pm to 5.00pm. Could I use this as an encouragement in church? Thanks. God bless you.


Derek Hill June 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Hello Rajulas! Sure by all means you can use this as encouragement in your church! Thank you for your kind words! God bless you!


Johanna June 23, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Thank you for this encouraging website and for being church for our family!


Derek Hill June 23, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Thank you for your kindness Johanna! The church is the body of believers and I think I can say on behalf of all of us here we are blessed to write articles for the glory of God! Blessings on you!


Joel April 30, 2014 at 6:05 am

Hello Derek,
I’m trully thankful to God for always leading me to this website. I’m always grateful for every works you’ve shared. I know and believe that it is God that works through you. This article refreshes me of Psalm 92 which is one of my favorate verses. It says that “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name…
It is my heart to always give thanks to the Lord for I know that He is good even in my hardest times.
Well done sir. God bless you.


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