3 Ways to Be Thankful to God for His Blessings

Are you tempted to complain about your struggles, while forgetting about everything God has done for you? Me too! Let’s explore how we can be more thankful to God for His blessings, no matter what else is going on in life.

thankful to God for His blessings

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Let’s be honest… sometimes, it’s a lot easier to COMPLAIN about the things that go wrong in our lives, than it is to THANK God for all the good things.

Case in point: In Numbers 11, the Israelites complained about the limited variety of food they had to eat in the desert. They wanted meat so badly, they forgot that God had just delivered them from slavery. You know, never mind the fact that they were free from bondage AND God had provided manna for them to eat… they missed the luxurious food they’d left behind in Egypt.

It’s easy for you or I to say “How could they be so ungrateful?!” BUT *ahem*, we’re not so different, are we?

I could go on and on about the struggles or things in my life that are lacking (so little energy, no husband to share my life with, a long list of things I’ve failed at, etc.). It’s easy to feel like my life is a mess or that nothing ever goes right or everything is a struggle. BUT what about all the things to thank God for?

Certainly, when I shift my focus, I find many reasons to thank God for everything in my life! (A wonderful supportive family, great friends, the joys of creativity, purpose, and of course JESUS!)

What should I be thankful to God for?

If you’re still reading this, I know you must struggle with that too. The constant temptation to complain and lament about our struggles is real… but so are all the reasons to be thankful to God!

Being thankful to God for His blessings doesn’t mean that we don’t have troubles… far from it! What it does mean, is that we can learn how to be thankful to God in all circumstances, just as Scripture tell us to:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Notice that it doesn’t say to give thanks FOR all circumstances, but to give thanks IN all circumstances. So, what should we be thankful to God for in those not-so-great circumstances? We can rejoice that He’s working in and through that situation, always for our ultimate good. Even in the darkest times, there are still so many blessings to be grateful for.

For we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (NIV)

3 Ways to Be Thankful to God for His Blessings

If you, like me, want to learn how to be more thankful to God regardless of your troubles, these three simple mindset shifts can help.

I know it’s a bit cliché, and you’ve heard it a million times before (as have I), but it really is about changing your attitude. By focusing on God’s goodness and all that He’s doing in our lives, we can grow to be ever more thankful to God for His blessings.

1) Appreciate who God IS, apart from your circumstances!

First up on your list of things to thank God for, should always be who He is. If we look only at our circumstances, it would be easy to be ungrateful. But, when we look at WHO God is, it’s easy to see we have so many reasons to praise Him! For example, He’s all powerful and all-knowing (He knows what’s best for you, and is able to handle any problem you might have!). He’s so very merciful (forgiving you time and time again, drawing you back to Himself no matter how far you’ve strayed). And so on, and so forth.

If you want to be more thankful to God for His blessings, it’s worth remembering that you aren’t entitled to be blessed, but yet God blesses you anyway because that’s just who He is!

Let all that I am praise the LORD;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
The LORD gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

Psalm 103:2-6 (NLT) (NIV)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17 (NIV)

beautiful sunrise to be grateful for

2) Thank God for all the little ways He provides for you!

Sometimes when life is tough, it might be harder to see the blessings, but if you look, there are still so many. Remember how to thank God for the simple things, like the sunshine and rain that grew the food you eat, or the fact that you have clothes to wear or a blanket to keep warm, or for the family you have beside you.

And let’s also not forget, all the ways God uses trials for our good! Maybe it’s not fun, but through that discipline He’s producing a harvest of righteousness in you (Hebrews 12:11-13). Or maybe you’re gaining comfort or wisdom you can share with others, or learning an important lesson. If you want to know how to be thankful to God at all times (even in hard times!), a big part of that is being thankful for the good He brings out of your troubles.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
James 1:2-5 (NIV)

blessing of flowers

3) Slow down, to notice the blessings!

Lastly, to grow more thankful to God for His blessings, it really helps to slow down and appreciate them. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of life cause you to rush through the blessings so quickly you don’t even notice them.

Be still before the Lord, and appreciate your time with Him. Savor the companionship of your family and friends (and, be a good friend to them!). Enjoy the blessings of food, sights, sounds, and smells that delight your senses. Pause to thank God for these things! What a marvel it is that He invented flowers that are so colorful, rosemary that smells so wonderful, or chocolate that tastes divine… or whatever little things in life you enjoy.

So, to summarize all these wonderful ways to be thankful to God for His blessings: praise Him for who He is, give thanks for all the little ways He cares for you, and take time to appreciate those blessings!

I’ll leave you with these prayers of thanks and praise from the Psalms, which are excellent examples of expressing gratitude to the Lord:

Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to you,
they sing the praises of your name.

Psalm 66:1-4 (NIV)

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
I have suffered much;
preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.
Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.

Psalm 119:105-108 (NIV)

I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2 (NLT)

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