Nov 2022 blog Thankfulness as Spiritual Discipline
Missions Discipleship

Thankfulness as a Spiritual Discipline

“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)


My husband had been out of work for a year. His company had discontinued his project and downsized. I shared with my prayer partner how God provided for us during this hard season. She reminded me to keep thanking God for His provisions and when His timing and ways are different from mine.


Paul began most of his letters with how he always thanked God for the people to whom he was writing and the grace given through Jesus. The recipients of his letters weren’t perfect, but Paul was still thankful for them and their faith in Christ.

We, too, should make it a habit to thank God for His grace and the family and friends He places in our lives. Encourage one another to persist in thanking the Lord.


My toddler grandson and granddaughter respond with “donk ku” or “tank Q” when they receive something. I’m thankful my children and their spouses are teaching them precisely what to say.

Sometimes being thankful is simply teaching, passing on, or modeling simple responses to others’ generosity.


My mother-in-law’s dementia had worsened. My husband and I were full-time caregivers and growing weary. During this stressful time, the Lord reminded me to look for Him and His blessings. I thanked God for my first grandchild, who was born during this tough time.

There will be times when it’s hard to give thanks. It might be because of difficult circumstance, bad choices others have made, or our poor decisions. Thankfulness then becomes a time of perseverance. We choose to pray and read God’s Word more and, if needed, forgive or seek forgiveness. Thank the Lord for His perseverance in pursuing us and His unchanging love, goodness, and strength for the rough seasons.

Share your burdens with other believers. Our friends thanked God for the time we still had with my mother-in-law, which encouraged us.


Jesus is our best example of thankfulness. We can pray the same passionate prayers of thanksgiving He prayed. Christ thanked God for revealing truth and giving rest (Matt. 11:25–30). Jesus thanked God for His provisions (Matt. 15:36). Our Lord was thankful for believers and their eternal security (John 10:27–30).

Ask God to help you be more thankful. He delights in making His children look more like Jesus!

Gail Veale writes in South Carolina and is thankful for her family and her church, Darlington First Baptist Church.