In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we are told to "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I thought it would be a good time to share 40 things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, along with a brief description of why. You should be thankful for:
1. Your Life
You may take it for granted, but our lives are given to us as gifts from God.
2. Your Family
God also gives us our families, and we should be thankful for each and every one of them.
3. Your Wife/Husband/Girlfriend/Boyfriend
Again, we should be thankful for the people that God has placed in our lives.
4. Your Friends
Friends, likewise, are a gift from God. We should be thankful for those that God places in our lives, especially the ones that lead us closer to Christ.
If you have something to eat this Thanksgiving, you should be thankful for it. There are plenty of people in the United States and around the world who will not be able to eat a Thanksgiving meal.
6. Warm Clothing
In the same way that there are many people around the world who will not enjoy a meal on Thanksgiving Day, there are also many who will be out in the cold, without warm clothing. We should be grateful for what God has given us.
We should be thankful that we have a roof over our head. Far too many people around the world do not have a place to call home.
8. Warm Bed
If you have a warm bed to sleep on tonight, you should be thankful. There are far too many people sleeping on the streets.
9. Computer/Tablet/Cell Phone
If you are reading/listening to this, you are lucky to have a way to access it. While these things are common for us to have, many people around the world could not afford even the most basic cell phone, computer, or tablet.
10. Indoor Plumbing
This may seem funny at first, but we should be incredibly thankful if we have indoor plumbing. Many people around the world do not have this most basic luxury.
According to recent data, as many as 61 million school-age children around the world may never enter school. If you have an opportunity to obtain an education, you should be incredibly thankful.
12. A Vehicle
If you have a vehicle that you are able to drive to and from work every day, you are incredibly blessed and should be thankful for it.
13. Your Job
You may or may not be happy with the job that you have. However, you should be thankful to have a job that pays the bills in the first place.
If you are a Christian, you should be incredibly thankful for the salvation provided for us through Jesus Christ.
15. Your Pastor
I know it has been an entire month since we spent time telling our pastors how much they are appreciated. We should be incredibly thankful all the time that God has given us these godly leaders.
16. Your Lay Leaders
A lay leader is a leader in the church who has not been called to vocational ministry. Often, they are volunteers. However, their work helps make the church function properly. You should be thankful for the lay leaders in your church.
17. Your Church Congregation
A church congregation is like a family in which the people are not necessarily related to each other. Your church is a support for you as you mature in your walk with Christ. We should be thankful for these people that God has placed in our lives, as well as for the support they provide.
18. The Bible
If you have a Bible in your home, you should be thankful. In many countries, it is illegal to have a Bible. It is a rare thing for the underground church to be able to read and study the Bible for themselves.
19. God’s Grace
It seems that, many times, we forget to be thankful for God’s grace in our lives. During this time of the year, it is important for us to remember to be thankful for this gift from God.
20. Gods Mercy
In the same way that we should be thankful for God’s grace, we should also be thankful for His mercy. Without it, we would be in an incredibly dire situation before the God of the universe.
21. God’s Love
God loves each and every one of us, even though none of us deserve it. We should be incredibly thankful for this.
If you have electricity to power your home, you should be thankful that you have this luxury. Many people around the world do not have the opportunity to enjoy this luxury.
If you are reading this, you are literate. Unfortunately, many people around the world are illiterate. We should be thankful that we can read and write.
24. Your Physical Health
We all experience problems in life. In all honesty, your health is a blessing from God. We should be incredibly thankful for this.
25. Your Mental Health
Again, many people face problems in this area. However, if you are mentally healthy, you should be incredibly thankful for this.
If you listen to music on an Ipod, MP3 Player, or on your phone, you are blessed. You should be incredibly thankful that you can listen to this music in this way, because many people around the world cannot.
If you have shoes to wear, you should be incredibly thankful for them.
28. Church Fathers
If you are a Christian, you should be thankful for the contributions provided to the church by its earlier leaders. From Origin to Augustine to Aquinas to the great Christian leaders of the 20th century, we should be thankful for their leadership and for the foundation that they helped build.
29. God’s Justice
We should be incredibly thankful for God’s justice. While we may not always understand it, God’s justice means that, in the end, God will ensure that the right thing is always done. God is a just God, and we should be incredibly thankful for this.
30. Life In A Free Society
We may sometimes see things that are wrong with our society. This does not mean that we should not be thankful for the life we have in a free society. We should cherish the freedom that God has given us, and remember to thank Him every day for it.
Any time we are persecuted for our faith, we should be thankful that God has given us the opportunity. It demonstrates that He sees us as strong enough to pull through the persecution. In addition, persecution makes us stronger Christians and has an interesting tie to the growth of the church. We should be thankful if we endure persecution for the sake of the Gospel.
32. Lack of Persecution
While Christians are sometimes persecuted in our society, we should be incredibly thankful that we do not face persecution to the extreme that it occurs in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East. In some parts of the world, Christians are killed simply for believing the message of the Gospel.
33. Your Enemies
You should be thankful for your enemies. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, the fact that you have enemies means that you have stood for something. In addition, if you have enemies in this life, it means that God has entrusted you with someone to pray for and love like Jesus loved them. We should be thankful for this.
34. Our Standard of Living
The standard of living in the United States is incredibly high in comparison to many other parts of the world. We should be thankful that God allows us to live in a society where we have such a high standard of living.
We should be thankful for the trials that we go through, because through them God makes us into mature Christians.
36. Your Pets
If you have any pets, you should be incredibly thankful for them. Not only do they teach responsibility, but they are great companions that shower you with love throughout their lives.
37. Your Responsibilities
It may seem exhausting sometimes, but if you have responsibility for something, you should be thankful, because it means that someone has seen the potential to handle this responsibility in you.
38. Medical Science
We should be thankful for modern medical science, which helps us live longer and healthier lives than we would without it.
Have you had any wisdom passed on to you by someone with more life experience than you have? You should be thankful for this wisdom, because it will help you do well in life.
40. Clean Air
If the air that you are breathing in is not poisonous, you should be incredibly thankful.
There are, of course, many other things that can be added to this list. This is just a sampling of the many things that we should be incredibly thankful for. Now go and thank God for what He has done for you!