Thanksgiving will soon be here, but an attitude of gratitude is good to have all year long. When I sit at my desk each day, I see my two cats sleeping in front of me, and I am thankful for their company. I see birds flitting to and fro at the bird feeder outside my window, and it reminds me of God’s promise to provide for me. I think about the plans we have for Thanksgiving Day with family and friends who are like family. The disappointments and hard circumstances haven’t gone away, but there is much to be grateful for. Here are 3 Bible verses to encourage gratitude in your life every day.
Gratitude Rooted in Christ: Colossians 2:6-7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.Colossians 2:6-7, New International Version
Living each day rooted in Christ, always learning, strengthening our faith, will help us overflow with thankfulness. When you consider that Paul was in prison when he wrote his letter to the church in Colossae, you can understand more deeply how gratitude is not tied to circumstances. It’s the flowering of a life rooted in Jesus.
Now listen to a sample of this Abide meditation based on Colossians 2:7.
Gratitude for an Unshakeable Kingdom: Hebrews 12:28
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.Hebrews 12:28, New Living Translation
For years I had a small square card on my bathroom vanity that said, “Forever is longer than this.” James called our trials in this world “light and momentary afflictions.” He wasn’t dismissing the pain of this world. He knew hard things happen, but he also knew that they wouldn’t last forever. The writer of Hebrews wanted to encourage gratitude with the assurance that we belong to an unshakeable kingdom. Nothing will overcome it. We will be with God in eternity, and that’s a way longer time than our 80- or 90-something years on Earth.
Now listen to a sample of this meditation from Abide about being unshakeable from Romans 12.
Gratitude for Who God is: Psalm 147:7
Sing to the Lord with grateful praise;Psalm 147:7 (NIV)
make music to our God on the harp.
Sometimes, life’s circumstances just batter you down and you really can’t find anything to be grateful for. I have a friend in that situation right now, and my heart breaks for her. She’s losing all hope. Thanksgiving is going to be a really hard day for her. So how do I encourage gratitude in her? Without coming across as over-spiritual or whitewashing her pain, it will be difficult. Instead of giving her platitudes, I will remind her of who God is. Even though it feels to her like God has taken His hand off of her, I will remind her of His promise to never leave her or forsake her.
Hang on tightly to Jesus and let Him see you through. When it seems all is lost, sing to the Lord in grateful praise for what He has done for you in the past. He is the same God and will walk with you through every valley.
Listen now to this short prayer from Abide based on Psalm 147:7 about praising God.
As you can see from these 3 Bible verses, gratitude has very little to do with what’s going on in your life at the moment. It has everything to do with who God is in your life. Are you rooted in Christ? Part of God’s unshakeable kingdom? Then sing praises of thankfulness to the Lord today. Let these verses encourage gratitude to grow in your heart.
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Stephanie Reeves is a writer and the senior editor of Abide.