I suppose it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that there are thousands of things to thank God for. Maybe millions. But do we? Do we even recognize the many gifts from God?
It wasn’t until I had a fracture and couldn’t do a lot of things for myself that I realized I was taking way too much for granted. I had so much more to thank God for than I realized.
What about you? How many things can you thank God for? And how much are you taking for granted?
Reasons to thank God
As hard as things sometimes seem in our lives, let me assure you that if we love Jesus,
- There are better days ahead either here or in heaven.
- God still loves us.
- We are never alone.
- God’s plans for us are good even when we don’t understand them.
- Scripture commands us to give thanks.
- God has given us all of creation to enjoy.
- All things good come from God.
- Thankful people are happier people
Things we forget to thank God for
My daughter is a fabulous cook and I am always thankful when she prepares a meal. But we often think that what we have is obtained by our own skills and finances. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Bible says that we are dependent on God for everything.
” … since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Acts 17:25b ESV
So here are some of the things many people forget to thank God for.
All that goes into the food we enjoy
Those living in first-world countries have so many choices of foods and spices and cooking utensils and on and on. But let’s break that down a little.
If we don’t grow our own food we are truly dependent on God to bring it to us.
- through some kind of transportation
- farmers who are dependent on the weather to cooperate with their planting and harvesting schedules
- food storage and processing facilities
- factories that make the cooking utensils
- metal miners who supply the raw materials to the factories
- this list could go on and on.
How many times do we thank God for His provision, acknowledging our dependence on Him?
Our skills and abilities
Our skills and abilities come from God. He created us with them. We would get nowhere if He had not been the one knitting us together in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139)
And what about our jobs? This too depends on our skills and the opportunities that we had during our early years. We were born into the right place at the right time to get an education, be it formal or non-formal.
“You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth …” Deuteronomy 8:18
I fear we take our health for granted if we have not had many sick days. Yet every morning when we wake up from sleep it is a gift from God.
Who keeps our hearts beating? Who gives us the breath of life? Do we thank God each day for these precious gifts? Or do we forget that it is God who sustains us?
A place to live
If we are not homeless, then we have so much to thank God for. A place to live protects us from the weather. It gives us a degree of comfort and security.
Thanking God in all circumstances
Many people wonder how we can thank God when life is hard, when dreams have died, when friends and family have left us, or when our health fails?
Years ago my whole world came crashing down so I know how hard it is to thank God during those moments in life. You might be there right now.
Let me assure you that as long as we are breathing and have a heartbeat there are things to be thankful for. This comes from the pen of one who didn’t believe that years back.
The power for thanking God in all circumstances comes from focusing on what we have, not what we have lost.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
(Notice it doesn’t say “for” all circumstances, but “in” all circumstances)
It is our thoughts that drive a sense of gratitude. If your thoughts are holding you captive you need to break loose. It can be done.
Things we can thank God for that will never change
We indeed should thank God every day for the physical things that He has given to us. But those things can all change. Then what?
Fortunately, there are things that we can thank God for that will never change.
- God will always love us
- God is full of mercy and grace
- God will comfort us
- God will give us strength
- God is full of compassion
- God is always willing to forgive us
- God wants us to have eternal life
- God will never leave us
- God’s plans for us are good
- God gives us purpose in life
This is only a partial list of the things we can thank God for that will never change.
(1) Things to thank God for – His love
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!“ Psalm 107:1
So we can be confident that God will always love us, even when others don’t.
(2) Things to thank God for – His mercy and grace-
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus …” 1 Corinthians 1:4
“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 148:8
Mercy is not getting all the bad things we deserve. In contrast, grace is getting all the good things we do not deserve.
(3) Things to thank God for – His comfort
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction …” 2 Corinthians 1:3
When those rough moments arrive in our lives, God wants to comfort us. Sometimes that comfort comes through others who love Jesus, so who our friends are is important.
(4) Things to thank God for – Strength He gives
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped …” Psalm 28:7
At times, life can make us feel weary. When we just don’t think we can keep on keeping on, God wants us to turn to Him for strength.
(5) Things to thank God for – His compassion
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14
God is the best listener we could have. He knows we are human and have flaws, yet He doesn’t condemn us for them. He wants to help us overcome them.
(6) Things to Thank God for – His forgiveness
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
” … as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12
Where would we all be without the forgiveness of God? What a caring and loving God who will not hold our sins against us when we confess them and desire to turn away from them.
(7) Things to thank God for – His salvation
“ Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (the gift of salvation) 2 Corinthians 9:15 “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
Salvation is the most expensive gift we could ever receive. But it is up to us to accept it. Only then can it be ours.
(8) Things to thank God for – His constant presence
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b
We are never alone. God promises to be with us, especially in the rough places in life. (Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20)
(9) Things to thank God for – His plans
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Even when life comes crashing down around us, God’s plans for us are still good. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people so things happen that will cause us grief.
But God sees beyond our immediate troubles to the good things He has planned for us. The greatest plan of all is spending all of eternity in heaven with Him.
(10) Things to thank God for – our purpose
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
” … so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
Our purpose in life never changes. We are to love God, love people, and do everything for the honor and glory of God. No matter what happens, this is our purpose, which is possible in any circumstance. (Matthew 22:37, 1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17)
“I will give thanks … I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1
The word “recount” means to think about or talk about something. When we remember all of God’s gifts, we will find more and more things to thank God for.
Best of all, God and what He is like is something we can always be grateful for. These are the things that will never change!