Giving Thanks Is Not Optional

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I’m not feeling very thankful today.

Nothing major happened to put me in an unpleasant mood. In fact, it actually started out great, with a beautiful sunrise and a refreshing early walk. Somehow the day went downhill from there.

give thanks

But the cause doesn’t really matter, the fact is I just don’t feel like giving thanks …

… and that is exactly why I am posting a list of things I am grateful for.

Say what?

I haven’t done an exhaustive search, but from what I can tell, nowhere in the Bible does it tell me to be grateful only when I feel like it. Consider these verses (emphasis is mine):

  • “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
  • “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34).
  • “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name” (Psalm 100:4).
  • “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good …”; “Give thanks to the God of gods …”; “Give thanks to the Lord of lords …” (Psalm 136:1–3).
  • “Give thanks to the God of heaven!” (Psalm 136:26).

Sometimes the commands to give thanks are even followed by a consequence, such as Philippians 4:6–7, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It doesn’t sound like giving thanks is optional in God’s eyes!

(And I could sure use more of God’s peace!)

Nowhere in the Bible does it say to be grateful only when one feels like it. Giving thanks is not optional! Share on X

I’ve heard it said that if you show acts of love to your spouse even if you don’t really feel like loving him, you will actually begin to feel that love. I believe it’s the same with gratitude.

Give thanks in everything whether you feel it or not, and the feelings will follow!

God knew that we would not always feel grateful. That’s why He gave us so many Scriptural reminders to express thankfulness, none of them indicating it was optional.

With that said, here’s ten more items to add to my One Thousand (or more) Gifts:

  1. Spending Labor Day weekend with my children at our barn (our getaway)—unfortunately Hubby had to work.
  2. Games—I love playing board, card, or sports games with just about anyone!
  3. Spending time with great friends.
  4. Perfect weather!
  5. The cross Dad made is up in Rachel’s “Pooh Garden.” Thanks, Dad, it’s awesome!
  6. I found some peppermint plants to dry for tea.
  7. “Only” 3 1/2 weeks until our young Labrador Retriever, Kaia, can be put back in the large kennel following surgery—can’t wait!
  8. Fresh raspberries from the garden.
  9. Another proofreading project completed.
  10. Those of you that read my posts!

How about you? Will you join me in giving thanks even during those times you don’t feel like it?

“If I only have the will to be grateful, I am so.”—Seneca

By His Grace,



  1. Dawn on September 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Keep giving thanks, because all those “loser moment”s are drawing us closer to HIM!

    • juliesunne on September 10, 2011 at 10:49 am


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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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