Are you looking for something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving? Do you look back on the past year and see a lot of ordinary moments, but nothing extraordinary to be thankful for? Maybe it would be a lot easier for you to make a list of disappointments and difficulties than a list of things you’re thankful for this year.
Wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving, God is worthy of your thanksgiving, even if your circumstances are not. In Psalm 118:1, the psalmist calls us to “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever,” (CSB). In this passage, the psalmist is not calling us to give thanks to the Lord for what He has done or how He is working—although those are good things to give thanks for. Instead, the psalmist invites us to give thanks to the Lord because of who He is—good and full of faithful love that endures forever. So, if you find yourself in a place this Thanksgiving where you don’t know what to be thankful for, give thanks to the Lord. He is still good.
And in God’s goodness, He is still working, even if we don’t see it. Don’t allow the enemy to cause you to forget that God often works in small, ordinary moments. We may expect him to be working in the wind, earthquake, or fire, but He is often working with “a voice, a soft whisper” (1 Kings 19:11-12, CSB). Isn’t God just as worthy of our thanksgiving for ordinary things as He is for extraordinary things?
Here are 15 things we may forget to be thankful for but that God still deserves our thanksgiving for:
- Your family
God created us for family (Gen. 1:28). In our fallen world, our families experience brokenness. But thank God for your family. And thank God for your church family. God intends for the church to function like a family.
- Your home
Be thankful for the space God has given you to steward as a place of flourishing for yourself and the discipleship of others. Although we know that ultimately our homes on earth are temporary and fleeting, God has planted you where you are in this season, and He delights in your flourishing there (Jer. 29:4-7).
- Your senses
Thank God for your senses—sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste. Maybe one or more of your senses has failed you. But thank God for the ways He has equipped you to experience and enjoy Him and His creation.
- Your personality
We are often tempted to self-deprecate. But God created you and equipped you with the personality, giftings, and abilities you have. It was not an accident. And God is able (and intends to) use you.
- Your future
Even when looking back with a grateful heart is hard, you can look forward to the future with thanksgiving. Thank God for His promises—ones you may see come to fruition in this life and ones you won’t know until the new heaven and earth. Because we serve a faithful God, we can look forward to the future with hope and thanksgiving.
- Waking up
Thank God for the breath in your lungs this morning. His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Thank God for waking you up to experience His new mercies today.
Thank God for the creativity He has given you. Whether you would consider yourself a creative person or not, God has placed creativity in you as a reflection of Him and His creative nature. Thank God for creating you to reflect His creativity. And thank God for the creative outlets He’s given you to enjoy—writing, building, preaching, designing, teaching—whatever they may be.
- Your emotions
Thank God for your emotions and the way He created you to respond and engage with the world around you. And thank Him for godly counselors who help you navigate hard emotions in healthy ways.
Whether you are suffering for the sake of Christ or under the weight of the brokenness of this world, in Christ, we are called to thank God even in our suffering. Thank God for His nearness in your suffering. And thank Him for His promise of endurance in every circumstance (Phil. 4:13).
David tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1, CSB). Step outside. Go on a walk. Consider how creation is declaring God’s greatness in this season.
Thank God for moments of laughter—moments to enjoy what is before you. There is “a time to weep and a time to laugh” (Eccl. 3:4, CSB). Don’t take the times of laughter for granted. Thank God for them.
As you look back over the past year, look for areas where the Lord has grown you, stretched you, taught you. Thank Him for His sanctifying work in your life as He daily transforms you from “glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18, CSB). Don’t lose sight of the sanctifying work of the Spirit because of the pain and difficulty of crucifying “the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24-25, CSB).
Thank God for inviting you into conversation with Himself. Thank Him for His patience with you when you’re tired and don’t want to pray. Don’t let access to prayer hinder your gratefulness for it.
Not only does God invite us to speak to Him, but He also wants to speak to us. Thank God for giving you His Word and for His desire to reveal Himself to you. Thank Him for the quite moments with His Word when He is quietly showing you Himself and forming you in His likeness.
- The body of Christ
Despite the difficulties of doing ministry in the local church, thank God for the body of Christ. Thank God for the diversity in the church and for how He has placed all the parts of the body together to function better together for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.
Remember, “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17, CSB). Don’t neglect thanking God for the small, everyday things. God is just as faithful and good in the mundane as He is in the extraordinary. He is worthy of our thanksgiving.