Thankfulness is a popular topic this week, isn’t it? The approach of Thanksgiving is reminding us all to count our blessings and to celebrate them.
Thanksgiving will be quite different for a lot of families this year, and yet, its focus will remain the same. Beyond the turkey, tablecloths, and time with family, Thanksgiving is exactly what it sounds like: a day to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives.
If you’re like me, this year has given you plenty of practice at searching out those blessings.
It’s much easier to focus on the things we’re not so thankful for. The difficulties, disappointments, and dire situations. It’s a struggle to pry our anxious minds from the looming monster of uncertainty. Especially long enough to dwell on the lights in our life.
But they are there. If you focus long enough on searching for them, they begin to jump out everywhere.
The contact with family and friends we’re still able to have. The technology and creative strategies that enable it. Our health. Our homes.
Our toilet paper.
There are so many reasons to be thankful. So many things to be thankful for.
Again, if you’re like me, you’ve heard – more times than you can count – how important it is to be thankful. You’ve read the research, heard the sermons, and watched the transformations when someone commits to practicing gratitude. There’s no doubt that being thankful is crucial to a fulfilling life.
But it can be difficult sometimes, can’t it?
I’ve never been a naturally thankful person. It grieves me to admit, but it’s true.
Sometimes I don’t have much trouble. Sometimes I can easily see the many blessings God’s granted me, and feel thankful for them. Other times it can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, and I’m sure there must not even be a needle in the first place.
Thankfulness is a discipline for me, and one I’m working hard to develop. Learning from and examining the lives of other thankful people is something that’s helped.
There are countless examples of thankful individuals in the Bible. Though I can’t name them all, one that never fails to inspire me is King David.
David’s example of a thankful heart is incredible. If you’ve ever read of David’s life, you know that he was no stranger to difficulty, disappoints, and dire situations. In fact, there aren’t many people that endured as much suffering as he did. Betrayals, sickness, wars, grief… Life was far from rosy.
And yet, the Psalms are full of David’s thanksgiving. For his family, his position, his life – and above all, his God. In a matter of a few short verses, David often lamented his trials and pleaded with God for His help, and then turned to singing and praising God for the assistance he knew He’d provide.
In times of desperation, David turned to the blessings he’d already been given, and the help he’d already seen God give and gave thanks for them.
Those instances were numerous. Just as they are for us, even when we don’t realize it.
Another thing that’s helping me cultivate a thankful heart is reading inspirational quotes about thankfulness in my quotes collection. 1 By doing so, I can always find encouragement, great reminders, and even much-needed slaps in the face.
The truth is that we all have so much to be thankful for. Even and maybe especially this year.
I’m trying very hard to remember this, and when I do, I’m always overwhelmed by the change it produces in me. In my attitude, my interactions, my outlook on life…
When I can look around and notice all the many, many things God has given me, done for me, and promised me, the tough things just don’t seem as hard. The darkness doesn’t feel so overwhelming and my circumstances don’t feel so crushing.
So today I’d like to share ten of my favorite quotes about thankfulness, with the hopes that they remind you of the blessings in your own life. I pray they inspire you – like they inspire me – to keep looking for those blessings.
Because they are there. And once you start seeing them, you’ll be amazed by just how much you have to be thankful for.
1. “Spiritual joy is what you experience when you choose to give thanks to God no matter what happens – even when things go wrong.”
2. “We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.”
(C. S. Lewis)
3. “To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.”
4. “An active faith can give thanks for a promise, though it be not as yet performed, knowing that God’s bonds are as good as ready money.”
5. “God says to give thanks in everything. That doesn’t mean you need to give thanks FOR everything. You don’t need to give thanks FOR that bad day. Or FOR that bad relationship. Or being passed over at work. Financial hardship. Whatever it is – you are not to give thanks FOR the difficulties, but rather IN the difficulties. That is a very important distinction, and one I think we often miss. Giving thanks IN everything shows a heart of faith that God is bigger than the difficulties and that He can use them, if you approach Him with the right heart and spirit, for your good and His glory.”
6. “All around us is fuel for the fire of thanks if we will but notice.”
7. “The key to thankfulness is not to view God through the lens of our circumstances, but to view our circumstances through the lens of God’s love and sovereign purpose.”
(Anne Graham Lotz)
8. “As a matter of fact, God isn’t asking you to be thankful. He’s asking you to give thanks. There’s a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other your choices, your decisions about a situation, your intent, your step of faith.”
(Joni Eareckson Tada)
9. “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”
(Henry Ward Beecher)
10. “Most of all, God has blessed us by giving us the privilege of knowing Him and walking with Him every day. He did this by sending His Son into the world to die for our sins.”
I am so very thankful for each and every one of you, and pray that your day, week, and year will be filled with innumerable blessings.
Did any of these quotes speak to you today? Go ahead and let me know your favorites in the comments, as well as if there is a certain topic you’d like to see more quotes about. While you’re there, I’d love to hear about something YOU’RE thankful for!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Psalm 100:4 NIV)
1. I shared more of my quote collection in my previous post: 10 Encouraging Quotes for Difficult Times.
2. To receive your own printable pages of the above quotes (and the ones used in my other ‘Quotes’ posts), sign up for my email list! Simply fill in the form here, and I’ll send you PDF copies of the quote collections – as well as an inspirational short story. I look forward to hearing from you!