What Does Thanksgiving Mean In The Bible

What Does Thanksgiving Mean in the Bible? Spiritual Guide

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

While gathered with my loved ones for Thanksgiving dinner, the delightful scent of turkey wafting through the room, I found myself contemplating the true significance of this beloved holiday.

Beyond the feasting and festivities, Thanksgiving is significant in the Bible. It’s when Christians express gratitude to God for His blessings and provision.

But what does Thanksgiving mean in the Bible? With that, I’ll provide the biblical perspective on Thanksgiving. Read on. 

What Does The Bible Say About Thanksgiving?

Person Reading A Bible

In the Bible, Thanksgiving means more than just saying thanks. It’s about showing devotion, sacrifice, praise, and offering.

It’s a way to honor God and worship Him. Biblical Thanksgiving is not just about being thankful when things are good; it’s about recognizing that God is in charge, even when life is tough. 

So, when we say thanks, we’re not just being polite; we’re reminding ourselves of our trust in God and His constant care. 

It’s like saying we believe in Him and His love, a big theme in the Bible. But what does the Bible say about presents?

What Is The Meaning Of The Word “Thanksgiving”?

Thanksgiving is the act of giving thanks, showing gratitude, and acknowledging the benefits or favors received, particularly directed toward God. 

It is a heartfelt expression of appreciation, often expressed through prayers [1], praise, or rituals, primarily aimed at God for His blessings and providence. 

“If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.”

Frank A. Clark, American Politician

Or it’s like a reminder to be thankful for the good stuff in life, no matter how big or small. 

People do it differently depending on their beliefs, but the core idea is showing appreciation and gratitude.

Find out the meaning of Christmas gifts in the Bible here.

What Biblical Benefits Are Associated With Thanksgiving?

Giving thanks in the Bible brings some important spiritual benefits. It helps keep your spiritual life healthy by inviting God into your life. 

When you say thanks, it makes tough times easier because you remember God’s care. It also helps you focus more on God and makes your faith stronger. 

Plus, it acts like a shield against negative spiritual things. 

So, thanking God isn’t just polite; it’s like a superpower that strengthens your faith, helps you face tough times, and keeps your spirit on the right track.

What Is The Most Significant Aspect Of Thanksgiving?

While Thanksgiving is widely known for the grand meal shared with loved ones, its most significant aspect remains rooted in the timeless tradition of thankful prayer and the harvest feast. 

We love sharing food with loved ones, but that comes from a deeper tradition of gratitude and religious respect. 

“Thanksgiving in the Bible is the language of the soul, a heartfelt conversation with God where words of gratitude flow as freely as a river.”

Howkapow Gift Site

The harvest feast celebrates all our good things, and the thankful prayer reminds us to appreciate those blessings. 

So, while the feast is a great way to come together, being thankful makes Thanksgiving special and significant.

You might also like to read about the worst topics to bring up at a Thanksgiving dinner table here.

How Did Thanksgiving Start?

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving started in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people came together to celebrate a bountiful harvest despite adversity, offering thanks to God. 

Aside from that, it was acknowledged as a day to thank God and heal the nation during the Civil War, thanks to President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation [2]. 

On the other hand, in Canada, Thanksgiving has a similar origin, dating back to European traditions. 

Like Martin Frobisher’s in 1578, the early celebrations centered around gratitude for safe journeys, peace, and plentiful harvests. 

Canada’s Thanksgiving Day, established in 1879, has seen varying dates, but since 1957, it’s been observed on the second Monday in October. 

What’s Special About Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is unique for a few simple reasons. The holiday started with the Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together, representing peace and unity. 

It also symbolizes hope for newcomers in America and the importance of family and home. 

But it stands out because it’s like the perfect holiday combo. You don’t have to leave your cozy home to have a good time with your loved ones and eat wonderful food.

Read: What Does The Bible Say About The Month Of October?


Was Thanksgiving a religious holiday at first?

Yes, originally, Thanksgiving was rooted in English tradition, often observed with religious services dedicated to thanking God and celebrating abundant harvests. 

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving in November?

Thanksgiving is celebrated in November due to President Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation during the American Civil War. 

He designated the final Thursday of November in 1863 as the national Thanksgiving Day.

What is the distinction between being grateful and Thanksgiving?

Being grateful is when you feel thankful, no matter what happens. It’s like having a positive attitude. 

Thanksgiving is an emotion when you show gratitude, usually by saying thanks or doing something nice. 

Final Thoughts

Thanksgiving isn’t just about having a big meal or feeling happy. It’s something very special for our spirits. In the Bible, Thanksgiving means more than just saying thank you. 

It’s about recognizing that God is helping us, keeping our belief in God strong, and staying positive even when things are tough.

When you say thank you, it’s not just being polite. It’s like having strong faith and showing respect for God. You’re asking God to be with you and making your problems seem smaller.

So, when we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, remember it’s not just a regular holiday. 

It reminds us that we’re connected to something bigger and shows us that having faith and being thankful can guide us through life’s journey.


Kimberlee Johnson
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