Use this free Youth Bible lesson in your church youth group to teach about thankfulness and gratitude to God. Being thankful is not just for Thanksgiving! The Bible says a lot about honoring Jesus with our gratitude. Use this powerful theme in your High School or Middle School Sunday School or any Youth Group Ministry devotional or Bible teaching.
Bible Study Topic: Thankfulness to God
Scripture Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (NIV).
God created us with more great plans than we could ever imagine. So, it is all but necessary that we appreciate Him in all circumstances as it’s part of His will for us. Regardless of the present situation, there’s a lot to be thankful for; for instance, the air you breathe, the food you ate today, the lives of your family and friends, and the clothes you’re wearing are all provided by God.
More so, being thankful to God is an excellent way of asking for more of His abundant blessings. He smiles at His appreciative children and sends manna from Heaven. On the other hand, He is unhappy with those who continually grumble and are always discontented – this set of people barely receive God’s blessings.
If time allows, choice a youth ministry game idea to break the ice and help the teenagers feel comfortable in the church group setting.
Bible Lesson: What is the Meaning of Thankfulness?
The dictionary explains that thankfulness is simply the state of being thankful. Also, note that thankfulness is synonymous with being appreciative and grateful. So when we are thankful for the things we have or the ones given to us, we’re exhibiting the term called thankfulness.
However, the Bible defines thankfulness to God as acknowledging God’s goodness with praise and thanksgiving – 1 Chronicles 16:32 (NIV) – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Meanwhile, in 1 Corinthians 11:24, Jesus gave thanks to God before having His last supper with His disciples. Therefore, thankfulness is a rite for every Christian.
Benefits of Thankfulness to God
1. Thankfulness to God is obeying God – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) tells us to be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. So, being thankful no matter, the circumstance is a direct act of obedience to God.
2. Thankfulness brings us closer to God – Colossians 3:15 (NIV) – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body, you were called to peace. And be thankful. This verse explains that we will have the peace of Christ when we’re grateful and draw closer to Him.
3. Thankfulness to God Brings Joy – Jesus as the Prince of Peace is ready to give us peace when we surrender ourselves in thanksgiving and adoration. Similarly, peace begets joy – we feel joyous each time we praise the name of the Lord.
4. Thankfulness to God makes us humble – There’s this joy and satisfaction that comes with praising God. More like a reminder that “we cannot do anything without Him .”This is utmost humility, and God upholds the humble.
How do we Show Thankfulness to God?
1. We show thankfulness to God through praise and worship – Ezra 3:11 (NIV) – With praise and thanksgiving, they sang to the Lord
2. We show thankfulness to God through our generosity– Note that this doesn’t only imply financial support; it also includes helping others, showing hospitality and kindness, and so on.
3. We show thankfulness to God in prayers and adoration.
4. By loving others – God has commanded us to love one another. In other words, we honor God when we are thankful.
Being thankful to God shouldn’t only be when we receive something tangible from Him. We should thank Him anytime and every day for His everlasting goodness.
Youth Group Discussion Questions
- How do we show thankfulness to God?
- Why is thankfulness so important to God?
- What are some practical ways to show thankfulness to God?
More Bible Verses on Thanksgiving To God – Psalm 100:4-5; Philippians 4:4-7; Colossians 3; 15-17.
Lead the Teenagers to Pray
Loving God, the Bible tells us to devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. So, we want to thank you for your goodness. Thank you also for blessing us with the things we have in life and with life itself. More so, we’ll remain appreciative in every circumstance, just as your word admonishes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.