This year, our world has seen an unprecedented number of tragic events, from the terrorist attacks in Paris to the barbaric acts of violence carried out by Islamic extremists in the Middle East and Africa.
However, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it's important to remember that God is good, and He is our refuge - even amid the most devastating of situations. Here are ten verses - in no particular order - that can help you express your gratitude to God for His protection, grace and faithfulness.
1. Psalm 46:1-2: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the Earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea ..."
This verse enables us to have courage in the face of daunting circumstances. No matter what evil we face, God promises us that we are never alone. Will you worry about matters out of your control, or will you trust God to be your ever present help in trouble?
2. 1st Thessalonians 5:18: "In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Thankfulness opens the door to the presence of God and grants us the power to shift our hearts towards God in every circumstance. When we give thanks in seemingly terrible situations, we are living in the belief that God works all things for our good.
3. Colossians 3:15: "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."
This Thanksgiving, take a moment to thank God for promising to provide His children with the peace that surpasses all understanding. Find encouragement in the fact that you have been called into one body with Christ! What a precious and amazing gift!
4. Hebrews 12:28-29: "Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire."
In these verses, the writer of Hebrews is encouraging believers to remember that in Christ, we belong to a kingdom that cannot be shaken by terrifying circumstances around us, because the kingdom is not of this world. We are thus compelled to show our gratitude to God for this promise of Heaven through our obedience and reverence.
5. Colossians 2:6-7: "Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."
If we belong to Christ, our identities and our purpose are rooted firmly in Him. Thus, as we become more and more like Him, every step, every action, every thought, every word begins to conform to that of Christ's. This Holiday season, thank God for allowing us to have this special relationship with His son!
6. Psalm 28:7: "The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him."
If we are in Christ, we are protected from all kinds of evil - and, most importantly, our souls are covered in His precious blood. Thank Him for this priceless gift through prayer and singing.
7. Phillipians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Instead of focusing on worry, this verse encourages us to recognize our anxiety and claim victory over it by the power of Christ and trust in His loving care. Through prayer, we are able to voice our fears to the Lord and then leave them in His capable hands. Thank you, Lord, for lifting and carrying our burdens!
8. Psalm 31:19: "How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you."
Even during the darkest days, it is important to remember that God is good - all the time. Praise the Lord for manifesting His goodness to us and allowing His goodness to flow through us to others.
9. 2nd Corinthians 4:15: "All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory."
Gratitude is joy toward God for his grace, and ultimately glorifies the giver. Writes John Piper: "Christian gratitude is grace reflected back to God in the happiness we feel toward Jesus."
10. Psalm 100:4: "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."
This Thanksgiving, thank God for your family, for His provision, for His faithfulness. Thanking Him for the ways He has drawn us closer to Himself and ways He has shown His glory through our lives.