5 Reasons God Tells Us to be Thankful

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I’m thrilled of feature guest blogger Barbara Latta today. Barbara is a writing friend from Conyers, and I think you’ll enjoy her message. Make sure to check out her bio below and visit her blog at at www.barbaralatta.blogspot.com.

Life’s disappointments may cause our focus to be on our pain. But giving praise to God sets our minds on the power to overcome whatever problem we are enduring rather than allowing ourselves to contemplate the misery of our situation. Lack of gratitude can produce depression and hopelessness.

In America, we celebrate our Thanksgiving Day to commemorate the landing of the first settlers on our shores. The first thing the Pilgrims did when they arrived on the coast was to thank Divine Providence for their journey and their new home.

They endured months of hardship, and losses grew greater the longer they were at sea. But they did not stop on the rocky shore where the Mayflower landed to complain, instead their perspective was on their blessings. The colony they built was founded on thankful hearts and the result was wisdom to their leaders and aid from the Native Americans they met. Gratitude was their foundation and gave us an example to follow.

We are told in multiple places in the Bible to bless the Lord at all times.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalm 34:1 NKJV)

Why Does God Tell Us To Be Thankful?

Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?” (Numbers 14:11)

The Israelites had every need provided for them and miraculous interventions for deliverance from harm, yet they complained at every turn. Manna, water, quail, and victory over enemies wasn’t enough. Because of their ungrateful hearts, thousands did not enter the promised land.

  1. Unthankful Hearts Grow Hardened and Selfish.

Human nature hasn’t changed. We can adopt these same attitudes when we become so accustomed to our modern conveniences and comforts. Our society thrives on technology which changes rapidly. New gadgets produce impatience and the desire for more each time an improved phone or computer releases.

A culture of materialism can promote greed, comparison, and covetousness and we can fall into this trap if we are not watchful. An unthankful heart only thinks of self and over time can harden like stone against the Holy Spirit’s voice.

2. A Thankful Heart Can Keep Our Minds From Anxiety.

Our first response to anything we go through should be to thank God because He is the only one who can rescue us from apprehension. Offering thanks before we see any results shows we have faith in our Creator. When we feel fear and anxiety building up in our minds, we can remember Paul’s remedy to the Philippians.

Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-6)

3. Gratitude Gives Us a Desire To Share.

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God (2 Corinthians 9:10-11).

It’s easy to take benefits for granted when we have lived with conveniences all our lives.

A glance down any major city street can open our eyes to the desperation around us. When we observe lack in other people’s subsistence, we can realize how blessed we are.

Our Father provides for us to not only meet our needs, but so we can share with those in want and enrich their lives.

4. Give Thanks Because God Deserves it.

Our Creator is the source of our being and every good thing we have. But when we view our problems through the human lens of complaints, we magnify the issue and minimize heaven’s power.

To focus on the amazing beauty of our Savior opens our hearts to receive the love He freely gives, and our problems shrink in comparison. He deserves our devotion simply because He is God.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, Be thankful in all circumstances for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

Rather than offering thanks for every situation we go through, we are told to be thankful that no matter what circumstance we face, the Lord is still our powerful, loving Father. And He hasn’t changed. We are not supposed to only give thanks when everything goes our way, but to offer appreciation always because the Lord is Supreme.

5. Gratitude is Worship and Glorifies God

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his mercy endures forever. (Psalm 107:1)

David was called a man after God’s own heart because he was a worshipper. Even after committing sin, David honored Jehovah by repenting and returning to the position of humility before his Lord. David’s attitude during His reign as king of Israel was one of thankfulness to the Almighty as portrayed in the many psalms he wrote.

No matter what we go through, elevating the Author of our salvation above our problems will lighten our hearts and remind us He is greater than anything we can face.

His mercy endures forever. What more do we need to be thankful for?


Barbara Latta is a true southerner and is transplanted from Arkansas to Georgia. She writes a monthly column in her local newspaper and contributes to devotional websites and has stories in several anthologies. She is the author of God’s Maps, Stories of Inspiration and Direction for Motorcycle Riders. She loves traveling with her Harley riding prince on His motorcycle taking in the creativity of nature. Drinking coffee on the patio while the sun comes up is her favorite time of day. Her desire is to share how the grace of God overcomes all obstacles and writes as a Titus 2 woman on her blog at www.barbaralatta.blogspot.com She loves being a mom to two grown sons and Mimi to one granddaughter.

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  1. It is tough to give thanks in all circumstances, but if we look at it from the perspective of knowing that God is always with us through the trials, it helps. In fact, it is only with His faithfulness, love, and compassion that we are able to survive life’s challenges. Your message is one of gratitude, love, and hope. Thank you, Barbara and Candyce.

    1. I think it helps also to look back on our lives for examples where God worked all things together for the good of those who love Him. Those times when we couldn’t see how anything good could possibly come from the situation. It does and will continue to do so!

  2. I love Philippians 4:4-8. I like the idea of being thankful in advance of what God does, because I’ve seen that faith release powerful blessings from the Lord in response.

    1. Joanna, that’s a great point. When we pray in faith and with thanksgiving, God has already answered. Our faith and thanksgiving help us receive what He has done. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Candyce and Barbara, what a unique and inspiring post about giving thanks. You included a perfect summary: “No matter what we go through, elevating the Author of our salvation above our problems will lighten our hearts and remind us He is greater than anything we can face.” Thank you.

  4. Thanks Barbara for this wonderful article. The benefits of living a life of gratitude are numerous and I’ve long practiced a gratitude journal — recording the blessings of life. But 1 Thessalonians 5:18 has always been difficult for me. It’s hard to thank God for life’s tough circumstances. But I’m learning to because, in hindsight, I can often see He orchestrated those for me for a purpose. Sometimes I’m not sure why. We just have to trust Him and thank Him anyway.

    1. Thank you Candyce for your beautiful blog site and for allowing me to share here. I am truly blessed to have so many talented and kind writing friends whose words bkess me and those who read them.

    1. Yes,!it’s easy to get so caught up in the excitement of seeing family and friends and the wonderful meal that we forget what it is we’re celebrating. A timely reminder indeed!

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