27 Things to Give Thanks For No Matter What Life Looks Like

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for. But when we look around and see that our life doesn’t look like what we wish it did, when circumstances are tough, it’s hard to give thanks. And yet the Bible tells us to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18). But how do we do that when it’s hard to find things to be thankful for?

Here are some things that we can thank God for, no matter what our particular circumstances look like. Really, this list is a lot more about God, who he is and what he does, than it is about us. And it mixes in some things that are true as part of how we, as God’s image-bearers, continue to develop and advance creation. And the fact that it’s 27 is really rather arbitrary (and the order is somewhat random too). Maybe you can take this as a jumping off point and think of another 27.

I can be thankful to God that . . .

  1. Jesus took the wrath of God in our place.
  2. God is a just judge, and wrongdoing is eventually called to account.
  3. When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us.
  4. God has given us his Spirit and therefore we call him Father.
  5. Neither our good deeds nor our bad deeds save us, because that would imply that some combination of that could unsave us.
  6. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ.
  7. God has given every believer spiritual gifts for serving others.
  8. God has given us different gifts so that everyone has a contribution to make.
  9. God has not given anyone all of the gifts so that we need each other.
  10. God is not silent. He has spoken to us in his word.
  11. God wants his word translated so that people can hear him speak in their own language.
  12. His word is a trustworthy guide for our lives.
  13. His word is a mirror to show us our sins so that we can repent.
  14. We can respond to God in prayer anytime and anywhere.
  15. God predicted what he would do when Jesus came so we know he keeps his promises.
  16. God gives music so that we can sing what is true and experience it emotionally.
  17. God’s people come from every language, nation, and people-group across history.
  18. We have access to libraries to read and learn.
  19. We have freedom to worship without fear.
  20. We live in a society that is ruled by law and not at the whims or the prejudices of an individual person.
  21. We can communicate through technology instantly with people pretty much no matter where they are.
  22. We have the ability to write and read according to our conscience.
  23. God has made food not just nutritious but even delicious (sometimes!).
  24. Ingenuity and creativity gave us a copy machine rather than copying by hand (or telephone rather than smoke signals, or electric stove rather than campfire, and so on).
  25. We have antibiotics and surgical methods that save so many more lives now.
  26. The heavenly church will be made up of people from across all of history and every language and people-group.
  27. Jesus promises a world to come without death or mourning or crying or pain.

May our praise this Thanksgiving be ever aware that all we have starts and ends with God.

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