Improve your sermon prep with our brand new study tools! Learn all about them here.
Preaching Articles

We should give thanks. It's God's will, and it's really, really good for us:
 
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." ~ G.K. Chesterton
 
"Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God's goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it." ~ William Law
 
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” ~ John Milton
 
“A thankful heart cannot be cynical.” ~ A.W. Tozer
 
"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice." ~ Meister Eckhart
 
"We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things?" ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
 
“A sensible thanksgiving for mercies received is a mighty prayer in the Spirit of God. It prevails with Him unspeakably.” ~ John Bunyan
 
"Gratitude as a discipline involves a conscious choice. I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. It is amazing how many occasions present themselves in which I can choose gratitude instead of a complaint. I can choose to be grateful when I am criticized, even when my heart still responds in bitterness. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty, even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly." ~ Henri Nouwen
 
"If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled." ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon
 
"Receive every day as a resurrection from death, as a new enjoyment of life; meet every rising sun with such sentiments of God's goodness, as if you had seen it, and all things, new-created upon your account: and under the sense of so great a blessing, let your joyful heart praise and magnify so good and glorious a Creator."  ~ William Law
 
"I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed and not I who robbed." ~ Matthew Henry
 
"When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time.  Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?"  ~ G.K. Chesterton

“The careless soul receives the Father's gifts as if it were a way things had of dropping into his hand yet is he ever complaining, as if someone were accountable for the checks which meet him at every turn. For the good that comes to him, he gives no thanks—who is there to thank? At the disappointments that befall him he grumbles—there must be someone to blame!” ~ George MacDonoald

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ Paul, the Apostle: I Thessalonians 5: 16–18

"Praise be to you, O LORD,
God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.

Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.”
~ David, King of Israel: 1 Chronicles 29: 10 - 13

SermonCentral is the world's leader in sermon resources and research. We are dedicated to equipping pastors worldwide for excellence in preaching.

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Gene Cobb

commented on Nov 16, 2012

I like to read these posts daily before all the "experts" have given their "wisdom." Well, Ray, I would say you have finally done the impossible! You have shared words that NO one can argue with! The only response should be "o me", "ouch" or "amen." I guess for me it's a little of all three. Happy Thanksgiving to All, Pastor LaFern

Nancy Carmichael-Stoner

commented on Nov 16, 2012

I would like sermon central to work a few weeks ahead. It would be a whole lot easier to use some of these wonderful resources. I would love to see the Christmas free videos as a member weeks ahead. I have been preparing Christmas services for at least one month now. Pastor Carmichael-Stoner

Gary Greene

commented on Nov 16, 2012

Amen, Nancy

Robert Tarasiak

commented on Nov 16, 2012

Please remove Henry Nouwen's quote. He was a false prophet and was part of the false contemplative spirituality movement that is alive today and is rooted in far-eastern mysticism and Roman Catholic false teachings as well as TM. Thank you! Pastor Bob Tarasiak

Bill Williams

commented on Nov 16, 2012

Please remove the Apostle Paul's quote. He was a persecutor of the early Christian Church, and by his own admission he was the chief of sinners. You might want to remove King David's quote, too. He was an adulterer and committed murder to cover-up the scandal. Oh, and he certainly did not believe that marriage was exclusively between one man and one woman, so he was obviously a liberal. You know, while we're at it, as long as we're going to go down this road, we may as well remove ALL of our comments, since all of us are miserable sinners, saved by the grace of God alone. OR...instead of judging whose comments are worthy of publication and whose aren't, maybe we can just take this opportunity to be thankful that God is infinitely more merciful with us than we are with each other, and that his grace is so much more than sufficient for each of us!! Thank you!

Gene Cobb

commented on Nov 16, 2012

Wow, guess I stand corrected!!! Great minds can argue about anything............well, now maybe we can see why the Church is such a mess. There is a great lesson to be learned from these posts, and frankly it is a sad lesson. I enjoyed ALL the quotes and thank you again for sharing. Like Pastor Nancy, I have been studying for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany for months, so like her idea. Pastor LaFern

Michael Mccartney

commented on Nov 16, 2012

I am just thankful we have quotes to use in Thanksgiving sermons!

Mark Baker

commented on Nov 16, 2012

Robert, good luck with that request. The author of this article happens to be deeply involved in the "contemplative spirituality movement that is alive today"--and HN is a rock star in the "spiritual formation" notion. While we should not give thanks ABOUT bad circumstances, false teachings in the church, etc, we can give thanks IN the midst of all circumstances (e.g. who God is, His love for us, what He is doing in us, what He will do for us and in us, etc). So it is okay to be grieved about, concerned about, and to speak up about false teachers, but let's also be joyful always, to learn to be content IN all circumstances, and to give thanks IN all situations.

Bill Williams

commented on Nov 16, 2012

Allow me a few clarifications. First of all, I apologize for my earlier sarcasm. It was beneath me, so let me rephrase the point I was trying to make. My point is that all of us are miserable sinners. And all of us have parts in our lives, even significant parts, where we are in rebellion with the will of God. But that shouldn't automatically disqualify any of us from having anything meaningful to contribute to Christian conversation. Otherwise, why not disqualify the other authors quoted. Or do some here really believe that everything that every other author quoted was 100 percent biblical, with absolutely no errors whatsoever? And if not, then why single out just Nowen? If some here have disagreements with Nowen's views on contemplative spirituality, that's fine. But Nowen's quote had nothing to do with contemplative spirituality, so why bring that up in this context? Nowen's quote was about gratitude. What specifically is wrong with what he wrote about gratitude? If the quote had been anonymous, and you didn't know it was Nowen who had said it, would you have complained then? For the record, there is a lot that I disagree with Nowen about, as well as with Roman Catholicism. I'm a pretty hardcore Protestant. Yet, his thoughts published here regarding gratitude are worthy of consideration, and they shouldn't be censored simply because of his name or because of views he has on other issues that I happen to disagree with. This post is about Thanksgiving, and as Pastor LaFern said in the very first comment, there was no reason for anyone to argue about the specific content that was presented. And yet, here we are arguing. And I blame myself as much as others. How sad. I guess we just can't help ourselves. But allow me to extend the olive branch of peace to any whom I may have offended. Again, I offer my sincere apology. And I leave you with the following thought: perhaps if we spent more time reflecting on our own sinfulness, and on how merciful God has been to us compared to how little mercy we show each other, we would be much more thankful. And maybe if, like the woman who anointed Jesus feet with perfume, we realized that WE had been forgiven much, we would love much, not just God, but also each other. May each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and may each of you experience God's mercy anew each day!

Gene Cobb

commented on Nov 16, 2012

Bill, Amen, LaFern

Pastor Warren Olson

commented on Nov 17, 2012

I am Thankful O' Lord that I am able to be of service to you during such unpleasant times. I am also Thankful for all of these other Pastors that you have called to be light in all of this darkness! Also, Father, bless the poor and needy during these holidays, and give the peace that comes form your Son our Savior Jesus the Christ...Amen!! Pastor Warren Lee Olson

Pastor Warren Olson

commented on Nov 17, 2012

I am Thankful O' Lord that I am able to be of service to you during such unpleasant times. I am also Thankful for all of these other Pastors that you have called to be light in all of this darkness! Also, Father, bless the poor and needy during these holidays, and give the peace that comes form your Son our Savior Jesus the Christ...Amen!! Pastor Warren Lee Olson

Join the discussion