Whatever else you may do to underscore the value of gratitude during the Thanksgiving season, one of best things you can do now or at any time of the year is to take your kids to the Bible and let them hear what God Himself has to say about thanksgiving. Keep in mind that God didn’t establish the Thanksgiving holiday. God’s expectation would have us to be people of thanksgiving every day of the year!
Here are some verses you will want to introduce your kids to when you think about Thanksgiving…
Psalm 100:4b, “Give thanks to Him and praise His name.”
This is typical of many verses throughout the Bible that challenge us to offer our thanksgiving and praise to God. Implied here is the simple reality that God is always worthy of our thanksgiving, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Click here for a Scripture page with this verse.
Ezra 3:11a, “They sang with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.”
In this instance the people were thanking God for the completion of the temple foundation following the Babylonian exile. The rebuilding of the temple represented their restoration as God’s called-out people It’s always appropriate for us to thank God for His calling and for enabling us to do whatever He calls us to do.
Psalm 69:30-31, “I will… exalt Him with thanksgiving. That will please Yahweh more than an ox.”
This is a verse you can have fun with. Ask your kids if they know where you can get an ox for God. 🙂 Help them understand that an ox was a valuable animal in biblical times, so thanksgiving must be valuable to God!
2 Corinthians 4:15, “Everything is for your benefit, so that grace… may cause thanksgiving to increase to God’s glory.”
Paul understood that death was part of life and that even someone’s death could be used by God “for your benefit.” When we understand God is in control and has a purpose, then we begin to thank Him for all circumstances and this, in turn, increases “God’s glory.”
Philippians 4:6, “In everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
All of us find ourselves driven to prayer sooner or later by circumstances. In this verse we’re reminded that our prayer should always be accompanied by a spirit of thanksgiving. Such a spirit expresses our confidence that God is in control and is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving even as we bring Him our requests for help.
Revelation 7:12, “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Here’s a beautiful example of a biblical writer being caught up in praise for our incredible God. This particular writer, John the Apostle, was imprisoned on an island when he wrote this. When we understand the glory, wisdom, power, and strength that characterizes our God, thanksgiving is not difficult to offer, even in prison!
For other resources about thanksgiving, click here.