Skip to Content

Thanksgiving meaning in the Bible

What is the meaning of thanksgiving in the Bible?


Thanksgiving is one of the central themes in the Bible.

From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the word reflects many times.

Major Bible characters like David and Jesus Christ are two people who constantly gave thanks to God.

Even today, saying ‘thank you’ has become second nature to many believers.

However, many do not understand the significance of Thanksgiving from a biblical perspective.

In this article, discover the meaning of thanksgiving in the Bible and what it means to believers today.

The Meanings of Thanksgiving in the Bible:What is the meaning of thanksgiving in the Bible

Biblically, thanksgiving means expressing gratitude to God for who He is, what He has done, and what He will do.

Thanksgiving, according to the Bible, is beyond saying thank you to be polite or appreciate what someone has done for you.

Saying thank you from a place of comfort or when happy alone isn’t entirely what Thanksgiving is about.

Instead, it is a lifestyle of gratitude irrespective of your situation.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 

This verse shows that God is interested in us having an attitude of thanksgiving in everything, whether we feel like it or not or whether it’s convenient for us or not.

Job understood what it means to give thanks to go even amid loss, grief, and pain.

He lost everything he had, including his children and property. However, he did not throw himself to the ground wailing, nor did he ask God why calamity befell him since he was a godly man.

Instead, fell to the ground and worshiped God, saying, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” 

He proved that thanksgiving is not only when things are rosy but when the journey is rough, and you feel unbearable pain.

Reasons for thanksgivingspiritual meaning of thanksgiving

According to the Bible, there are many reasons why we must express thanksgiving to God. Let’s look at some of these reasons.

For God’s goodness and mercy

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34)

One of the key reasons we must always give thanks to God is for His nature.

God is good and merciful.

He blesses His children with physical and spiritual gifts daily.

Psalm 136:1-26 lists various reasons why thanksgiving is a must for believers.

God has done many things for you.

If you can’t remember anything, look at the sun that shines and brightens your day, the rain that fails and brings calmness and peace of mind, your sweet sleep, etc.

For God’s gracewhat is thanksgiving in the bible

“I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:4)

God’s saving grace is why many of us are not condemned and can boldly declare we are sons and daughters of God. But we all obtained this grace because of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.

Because of His death and resurrection, we were washed and sanctified.

That is why we must continuously express gratitude for God’s grace which was not earned but given as a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9)

For God’s blessingsdefinition of thanksgiving in the bible

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!” (Psalm 68:19)

God’s blessings are unquantifiable and ever-flowing. Despite our unfaithfulness, God remains faithful in blessing us and keeping us. A precious gift from God is the breath of life.

Those who have it still have hope for a better future. However, God’s blessings include protection, provision, sound health, peace of mind, etc.

All the good things we have is from the Lord.

James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

 Give thanks for all the good things in your life.

Fulfilling God’s willmeaning of thanksgiving in the bible

“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Consider thanksgiving as one of God’s commandments you must fulfill, and you will always find reasons to give thanks to Him until it becomes your attitude.

Thanksgiving in every situation has lots of benefits, including shifting our minds from problems and challenges, thereby reducing their impact.

It also makes us focus on what God has done for us in the past while focusing on what He can do to save us from whatever we are going through.

Understanding that giving thanks pleases God will make you strive to practice it.

Ways to give thanks

You might wish to start giving thanks to God but not know how to begin.

There are many ways to express gratitude or thanksgiving in the Bible.

Here are some of them.


Singing is one of the sweetest ways to thank God for all He has done for you.

You must not belong to a choir or have an angelic voice before you can sing songs of thanksgiving to God.

All voices that sing to Him are melodious in His ears. God particularly loves songs of praise.

The Bible records that He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).

If you want God to abide with you, sing some songs to Him.

Psalm 100 is an example of a song of thanksgiving to God.

READ MORE: Biblical Meaning of a Dime

Prayerswhat is the meaning of thanksgiving in the bible

Another way to thank God is during your prayer hours.

You can spend time thanking God for things and what He has done in your life.

The mistake many believers make is always asking God for something without appreciating Him for what He has done.

The Bible records how Jesus always gives thanks, especially when He wants to perform a miracle.

He gave thanks when he wanted to multiply five loaves and two fished, and when He wanted to resurrect Lazarus from the dead (Luke 9:16, John 11:41).

Thanking God during prayers is a sure way of getting your miracle.

READ MORE: What is the meaning of sparrow meaning in the Bible?

Givingwhat does thanksgiving mean in the bible

Thanksgiving can be done without opening your mouth to sing or pray but can be expressed through gifts.

When you love someone or want to appreciate them for what they have done for you, you consider doing that with a nice gift instead of saying thank you and leaving a lasting impression.

In the same way, you must offer a gift to God for His blessings in your life.

You can give to God through offerings, donating items to the church, giving to the needy, widows and orphans, etc.

READ THIS NEXT: CSB vs. ESV Bible – differences