Gratitude and Thanksgiving makes life worth living

Adventist Youth (AY)
Gratitude is an underrated virtue, this program seeks to shine a light of the joys and benefits of a thankful spirit. It will engage the entire congregation in actively taking stock of the things they are grateful for while they learn about the benefits of this practice. We will also talk about thanksgiving towards God, the giver of every good gift.
Program Aim
To encourage a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving in the church
Scripture References
1 Chronicles 16:34
Theme Song(s)
560 – Let All Things Now Living
Program Audience
Preparations and resources

Print out the 1-week gratitude journal to give to each member. The 1-week journal consists of 2 pages but you can print on both sides of the same sheet. Download the PDF here or the Microsoft Word File here.

Gratitude is an underrated virtue, this program seeks to shine a light of the joys and benefits of a thankful spirit. We hope to engage the entire congregation in actively taking stock of the things you are grateful for while they learn about the benefits of this practice. We will also talk about thanksgiving towards God, the giver of every good gift.

Gratitude is one of the first things we teach children. It is not only a form of courtesy, but a reminder that all that they have is provided by their parents or guardians.

Thanksgiving is a response to someone’s previous actions towards you or something you are concerned about. The earliest references to giving thanks in the Bible are in Leviticus with reference to thanksgiving offerings. A thanksgiving offering is not a means of repaying for whatever God has given but to show a token of your appreciation.

Two reasons to give thanks to God

1 Chronicles 16

34 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.


35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.


Gratitude increases happiness

GRATITUDE PROMOTES HEALTH.—Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings—as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father's house? Those professed Chris­tians who are constantly complaining, and who seem to think cheerfulness and happiness a sin, have not genuine religion.—

Gratitude can treat depression.

REJOICING INCREASES FAITH.—It is a law of nature that our thoughts and feelings are encouraged and strenghthened as we give them utterance. While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words. If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have,—the great mercy and love of God,—we should have more faith and greater joy. No tongue can express, no finite mind can conceive, the blessing that results from appreciating the good­ness and love of God. Even on earth we may have joy as a well-spring, never failing, because fed by the streams that flow from the throne of God.


INGRATITUDE CLOSES THE HEART.—When the ten lepers came to Jesus for healing, He bade them go and show themselves to the priest. On the way they were cleansed, but only one of them returned to give Him glory. The others went their way, forget­ting Him who had made them whole. How many are still doing the same thing! The Lord works continually to benefit mankind. He is ever im­parting His bounties. He raises up the sick from beds of languishing. He delivers men from peril which they do not see. He commissions heavenly angels to save them from calamity, to guard them from "the pestilence that walketh in darkness" and "the destruction that wasteth at noonday" (Ps. 91: 6); but their hearts are unimpressed. He has given all the riches of heaven to redeem them, and yet they are unmindful of His great love. By their in­gratitude they close their hearts against the grace of God.—The Desire of Ages, p. 348.

Express gratitude for the blessings you have; show appreciation of the attentions you receive. Keep the heart full of the precious promises of God, that you may bring forth from this treasure, words that will be a comfort and strength to others. This will surround you with an atmosphere that will be help­ful and uplifting. Let it be your aim to bless those around you.—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 257, 258.


BE THANKFUL FOR DIFFICULTIES.—Have we not reason to be thankful every moment, thankful even when there are apparent difficulties in our path­way? . . . "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thes­salonians 5:18. This command is an assurance that even the things which appear to be against us will work for our good.—Ibid., pp. 253-255.


GRATITUDE IN SUFFERING.—Notwithstanding God's inexpressible mercy toward us, how few in our churches are truly humble, devoted, God-fear­ing servants of Christ! How few hearts are full of gratitude and thanksgiving because they are called and honored to act a part in the work of God, being partakers with Christ of His sufferings!—Testi­monies, vol. 6, p. 426.


EXPRESS GRATITUDE WITH HEAVENLY POLITENESS. —Christ values acts of heartfelt courtesy. When anyone did Him a favor, with heavenly politeness He blessed the actor. He did not refuse the simplest flower plucked by the hand of a child, and offered to Him in love. He accepted the offerings of chil­dren, and blessed the givers, inscribing their names in the book of life....

The desire that Mary had to do this service for her Lord was of more value to Christ than all the precious ointment in the world, because it ex­pressed her appreciation of the world's Redeemer. . . It was the outward demonstration of a love fed by heavenly streams until it overflowed—The De­sire of Ages, p. 564.

  • List 5 things you are grateful to God for.
  • Express your genuine gratitude to three persons for what they mean to you or something they have done
  • Form 3 or 4 groups and write a poem or song about gratitude and thanksgiving
  • Take the upcoming week to fill out the 1 Week/1 Page gratitude journal


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Caroline campbell. (not verified), Jul 22 2020 - 12:19pm
I am grateful to be alive. So many people have died over the pass couple of months from covid-19 and other misfortune!
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Abalas James (not verified), Aug 04 2020 - 6:33am
Good programe for yong adult
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Augustine (not verified), Jan 02 2021 - 9:49pm
This was a nice program to close our first sabbath on 2021.
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Jonathan A. Adis (not verified), Feb 08 2021 - 8:21am
Easy to use in giving msg on sabbath school program.
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Anonymous (not verified), Mar 05 2021 - 8:43am
Thank You, it's great and very helpful. Happy Sabbath
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Christy (not verified), Mar 05 2021 - 9:48pm
I am so happy and grateful to be an Adventist. Thank you for this beautiful program, would surely share the message.
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Gilphas areura (not verified), Mar 06 2021 - 5:55am
I am beginning to know more about God's love and Grace greater than my sin. Thank you lord Jesus Christ. For his mercy for lives..
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Lisa M. Villanueva (not verified), Mar 24 2021 - 8:34pm
Thank you for this nice program. We will use this in our AY program this last Sabbath of the quarter because our kids are in - charge of the AY program. So this is very timely and many children will benefit from the message because I am sure there will be many children and youth who will attend because they are the sponsors. So many of them can hear. Praise God.

I will let them write a note of thanks to their parents and let them hand it their parents uttering the words "I Love you" with a kiss.

Thank you very much.

I am looking forward for another program that would help us make AY interesting.

God bless you more.
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Merle Stanislaus (not verified), Jul 24 2021 - 7:44am
Thank you for the reminding me to be always grateful !
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Anonymous (not verified), Oct 19 2021 - 2:42am
Thank you so much!
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Maxine i (not verified), Dec 17 2021 - 8:37pm
Thank you so much for this and all the programs that you have sent me, they really make my job so much easier and they are such blessings to my Sabbath school members.
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Lynn R.Lingatong (not verified), Feb 18 2022 - 10:09am
Very helpful in our Sabbath school programs.
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Latoya King (not verified), Oct 07 2023 - 6:13pm
Grateful for this program. It is very helpful in our sabbath school
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Judith J. (not verified), Nov 21 2023 - 7:15pm
I'd like to express my sincerest appreciation for the in-depth Sabbath School content that you provide, faithfully. They are very inspirational and timely programs.

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