There are pumpkins on my porch. There is football on television. These clues tell me that fall has arrived on the calendar, even though the Charlotte weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating. Fall means Thanksgiving.

I was reminded of the importance of gratitude through a conversation with my son; he’s a freshman at UNC. He expressed his appreciation to me for being his dad and all that includes. I was immensely gratified by his position of thankfulness, not because I needed him to thank me but because it tells me about his perspective.

A posture of gratitude is also God’s desire for us. The Bible, God’s love letter to us, has a lot to say about thankfulness. Let’s take a look. We’ll answer some key questions regarding the details of thanksgiving.

About what?

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

We’re to give thanks for every thing, not just touchdowns. It’s God’s will for us!


giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ Ephesians 5:20

We’re to give thanks always, not just when things go our way.

For what?

Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 136:26

We’re to express our gratitude to God’s because He loves us. This puts our focus on God and His goodness, not us and our temporal desires.


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1

We give thanks because God is good, because He is faithful, forever.

True gratitude is closely connected to trust. We cannot appreciate someone unless we trust them, unless we believe their motives are pure. This is true in our relationship with God as well.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
Psalm 28:7

Look at the order. We trust, we’re helped, we exult, we give thanks. Trust leads to thanksgiving. What appears next on this path? The answer appears in one of my favorite passages.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. Phillipians 4:6-7

We pray. We trust. We’re helped. We give thanks. We are given peace that exceeds our circumstances.

Give your thanks to God. For every thing. Always. Peace to you brothers and sisters!




About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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