6 Verses for When You Don’t Feel Thankful

As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, the Bible reminds us to reject discontentment and rejoice in God

In the past, I’ve found it difficult to get into the Thanksgiving spirit. This year is no exception. Maybe it’s the influx of commercialized holiday cheer or the ongoing pressures of nearly two years of pandemic-induced uncertainty, but focusing on God’s blessings feels harder than ever.

You might feel the same way. Your mind could be spinning with concerns for next year or preoccupied with current difficulties. Or your heart could be distracted with the blessings you don’t have instead of focused on the blessings you do have.

This isn’t an issue that only impacts the Thanksgiving season. All too often, our thoughts wander from thankfulness to discontentment. In Proverbs, the writer tells us that the way we think impacts our lives:

Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.

Proverbs 4:23 GNT

When our minds are full of thoughts of discontentment, worry, and distraction, we might find it more difficult to express thanksgiving to God for the blessings in our lives. In these moments, we can turn to the Bible to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and refocus our hearts on thankfulness.

Here are six verses from God’s Word to help you reject discontentment and worry and rejoice in God.

If you’re worried about your most basic needs, remember that God promises to take care of you.

“This is why I tell you: do not be worried about the food and drink you need in order to stay alive, or about clothes for your body. After all, isn’t life worth more than food? And isn’t the body worth more than clothes? Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren’t you worth much more than birds?”

Matthew 6:25-26 GNT

If you’re struggling with financial stress, remember the eternal riches you have through your faith in Jesus Christ.

Well, religion does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have. What did we bring into the world? Nothing! What can we take out of the world? Nothing! So then, if we have food and clothes, that should be enough for us.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 GNT

If you’re concerned about material possessions, focus on the blessings God has already provided to you.

And he went on to say to them all, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be.”

Luke 12:15 GNT

If you’re distracted by worries about tomorrow, focus instead on the Kingdom of God.

“So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ (These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.

Matthew 6:31-34 GNT

If you’re facing difficulties in your life, remember that Jesus Christ gives you the strength to face every trial.

I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10 GNT

Whether you’re struggling with discontentment or rejoicing with thanksgiving, remember that God has given you the gift of his eternal love.

See how much the Father has loved us! His love is so great that we are called God’s children—and so, in fact, we are.

1 John 3:1a GNT

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Elisabeth Trefsgar
Elisabeth Trefsgar

Elisabeth Trefsgar is a content specialist for American Bible Society. She has made a home in New Jersey and Sofia, Bulgaria, and is always on the lookout for the next adventure. She is passionate about seeing communities around the world flourish through the power of God's Word and the efforts of the local church. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading good stories, photographing local sights, and spending time with friends.

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