Devotional Series: Thanksgiving Preseason

A handmade sign by the side of a road saying "Thank you"

Sharing Your Gratitude with Others

On Thanksgiving Day, we are encouraged to thank God for God’s many blessings. That’s wonderful! But this is also a great day to share your gratitude with others. Be sure to say “Thank you” today to the people who make a difference in your life.

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A photo by Mark Roberts of a cross on a windowsill with the Grand Tetons seen through the window

Don’t Forget the Big Things!

In this time of year set apart for thanksgiving, may you give thanks to God for the “big things” and the “little things.” As you do, may your heart be filled with the joy of the Lord!

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Giving Thanks When Life is Hard

It may be easy to feel grateful when life is good. But what about when life is hard, when we’re suffering or when we grieve over the injustice in our world? Can we be thankful then? Yes, Scripture encourages us to be thankful even in hard times. We don’t have to deny the pain or pretend that everything is great. But we can pay attention to God’s gifts to us. And we can get help from our sisters and brothers in Christ, whose care and prayers stir up thanksgiving in us. 

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A set of British road signs and barriers blocking access to a road because of construction

Barriers to Gratitude

Our lives would be better if they were filled with gratitude. They’d also be consistent with biblical teaching and example. But sometimes it’s hard to be grateful. Various barriers can get in the way: busyness, inattention, hesitation about depending on others, or a sense of entitlement. If, by God’s grace, we can address the barriers to gratitude in our lives, then we’ll find it easier to do and say everything with thanksgiving. 

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A man spreading out his arms towards a sunset

Cultivating a Posture of Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t something we feel or express once in a while. Rather, we should be thankful to God and others regularly. As we express our thanks consistently, we will nurture in ourselves a posture of gratitude. We will be people for whom gratitude comes consistently, even in difficult times. We will pay attention to God’s gifts and be thankful for God’s grace.

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The phrase "Thank you" in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch

Giving Thanks Consistently

The example of the Apostle Paul encourages us to give thanks to God, not just once in a while, but often, regularly, consistently. Even when we’re going through difficult times, we can pay attention to ways in which God is present and gracious.

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Gratitude: More Than a Feeling

Feeling truly grateful is a wonderful thing. But gratitude is more than a feeling. According to Scripture, it is a disposition, a way of thinking, feeling, and living. Moreover, gratitude is choosing to thank the Lord for all of his good gifts, no matter how we’re feeling at any given moment. Feelings of gratitude often follow from expressions of gratitude.

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A journal with a pencil and eyeglasses

Keep a Gratitude Journal

As we draw near to Thanksgiving Day, we are encouraged to keep a gratitude journal, a simple, daily record of things for which we are thankful. Such a journal strengthens our relationship with God even as it helps us to flourish.

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A football player kneeling by a bench and praying

Thanksgiving Preseason: An Invitation

In ten days, we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. But, for many of us, that holiday is so full that we hardly have a moment to express thanks to God.

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