It Is Good to Give God Thanks

A Journal of Joy: Things that make my heart smile…

When Thanksgiving comes around each year, it’s a great reminder to give thanks. Psalm 92:1-4 says, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and Your faithfulness at night.”

I think this is more of a command than a suggestion but all too often we forget to be thankful. It’s so easy to lose sight of this amid the hustle and bustle of everyday activity, but not just the Bible tells us it is good to give thanks. Scientific studies have shown the benefits of being thankful. People who express daily gratitude are 25% happier and healthier than those who don’t. A University of California long-term study on gratitude found that being grateful promotes good health, contributes to becoming successful, aids better sleep patterns, and just overall makes one more generous and helpful to others.

Even Oprah Winfrey says, “The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now.”

So the world has come to know what the Bible told us all along. It is good to give thanks to the Lord (Psalm 92:11). 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 goes so far as to say, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances…” I have found I can even find something to be thankful for in dire circumstances. What about sunshine, flowers, a smile from someone, a child’s laughter, or even finding a good parking space?

Keeping a daily gratitude journal is helpful. The Internet has tons of ideas on starting and keeping these journals. Some spend each day making mental notes on just the positive things they experience and then write about them. Others list three things each day they are grateful for and try not to repeat anything.  

Even though I’m a writer, I’ve never been good at journaling. I’ll also admit that I don’t record each day what I’m thankful for, but I do practice a little positive meditation before I go to sleep. When I snuggle into bed at night instead of mentally rehashing every bad thing that happened all day long, I try to focus on everything that went right, no matter how small.

Another thing I try to do is just practice saying “thank you” to each and every person who does something for me. Everyone! This includes the waiter who takes my order or the guy who bags my groceries. Sure they are getting paid to do it, but a “thank you” from someone can make their jobs a little more tolerable.

Prayer time is a great place to give thanks. I try to start and end each prayer by thanking God for something. I also ask God to bring back to mind all the wonderful things He’s done for me in the past and thank Him. I think one of the sweetest prayers God can hear from anyone’s lips is a heartfelt “Thank You, Lord!” People like to hear it too!


Thank You, Lord! Thank You for another day of life! Thank You for friends and family! Thank You for loved ones I don’t get to see very often! Thank You for the beautiful memories of loved ones who have passed away. Thank You for the air I breathe, the clothes I wear, the cozy bed I sleep in, the chirping birds, the rose bush in the front yard, the peaches from our tree, the sunset, the rain, the laughing children in the schoolyard across the street, the food I eat… The Bible tells me that it is good to give thanks to God! I give thanks to You because You are good! May my prayers always be full of thanks to You!

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