Grateful Living: Examining Examples of Gratitude in the Bible

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It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, and that means one thing: gratitude. You might be familiar with the practice of gratitude, which is the act of being thankful for the good things in your life.

Gratitude is a powerful practice, and there are many ways to cultivate it. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some examples of gratitude in the Bible. The Bible is filled with stories of people who were grateful for what they had, even in the midst of difficult times.

We hope this article will inspire you to reflect on your own gratitude and to find new ways to express thanksgiving in your life.


Abraham’s Gratitude for God’s Plan

Abraham’s gratitude for God’s plan is evident throughout his story in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible. One of the most notable examples of Abraham’s gratitude for God’s plan is found in Genesis 12:1-4, where God calls him to leave his homeland and go to a land that God would show him. Abraham was willing to obey God and leave his home, demonstrating his gratitude for God’s plan for his life. He demonstrated his gratitude by following God’s call, even though it meant leaving his familiar surroundings and going to an unknown land.

Another example of Abraham’s gratitude for God’s plan can be found in Genesis 15:1-6, where God reassures him that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Abraham believed God’s promise and it was credited to him as righteousness. This shows Abraham’s gratitude and faith in God’s plan for his life, even when it seemed impossible.

Additionally, Abraham’s gratitude for God’s plan is also demonstrated in his willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. God had promised Abraham that through Isaac, his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and in Genesis 22:1-19, God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham was willing to obey God, and this demonstrated his gratitude for God’s plan for his life and his trust in God’s promises. The story of Abraham teaches us that true gratitude is demonstrated through obedience and faith in God’s plan, even when it’s difficult to understand or accept. It teaches us that being grateful to God means trusting in His plan for our lives and being willing to follow it, even when it’s hard.

Mary’s Response of Praise and Gratitude

Mary’s response of praise and gratitude is evident in the story of the Annunciation in Luke 1:26-56 in the NKJV. When the angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her that she would bear a son, Jesus, she responded with humility and gratitude. In Luke 1:38, Mary said “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” Mary accepted God’s plan for her life with gratitude and humility, and her response is an example of faith and trust in God.

Mary’s response of gratitude is also evident in her song of praise, commonly known as the Magnificat, found in Luke 1:46-55. In her song, Mary expresses her gratitude to God for choosing her to bear the Messiah, and she acknowledges God’s power and mercy. She states “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47) Mary’s song of praise demonstrates her gratitude for God’s plan for her life and her trust in Him.

Additionally, Mary’s gratitude is demonstrated by her willingness to serve God and others. She was willing to be the mother of Jesus, and her faith in God’s plan for her life led her to willingly accept the role of being the mother of the Messiah, even though it meant facing social and cultural challenges, such as being pregnant out of wedlock. Mary’s story teaches us that true gratitude is demonstrated through humility, faith, and a willingness to serve God and others. It teaches us that being grateful to God means accepting His plan for our lives, no matter how difficult it may seem and to trust in His will.

Hannah’s Expression of Gratitude

The Bible is chock-full of examples of gratitude, but one of my personal favorites is the story of Hannah. She was barren and unable to have children, which was a great source of shame for her. But she gave thanks to the Lord anyway, vowing that if He gave her a child, she would give Him back.

And God heard her prayer and gave her a son. Hannah was so overcome with gratitude that she couldn’t even speak. She just gave him back to the Lord and praised Him with her actions. What an amazing display of thanksgiving!

Hannah’s story is a great reminder that we should be grateful for what we have, even when things are tough. No matter what life throws our way, we can find something to be grateful for if we look hard enough.

Jesus’ Expression of Thankfulness

One of the most powerful expressions of gratitude we can find in the Bible is Jesus’s words of thanksgiving. Jesus never hesitated to thank God for who He was, for the provision He had given, and even for the outcome of hard situations. For example, when Jesus faced torture and death in Gethsemane, He prayed that, if it was within God’s will, the cup could pass from Him (Matthew 26:39). Yet at the same time, He thanked His Father that His will be done (Luke 22:42). He knew that even in a situation where it would have been understandable and acceptable to rail against things not going His way, that His Father was still sovereign and good.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, this is an incredible example of true gratitude—gratefulness even when things don’t unfold as we would wish. Knowing that ultimately God is good and trustworthy gives us a foundation on which we can build grateful living. This encourages us to look beyond our circumstances and trust that no matter what happens, everything works together for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Paul’s Expression of Thanks

Paul’s expression of thanks is evident throughout his letters in the New Testament of the Bible. One of the most notable examples of Paul’s expression of thanks can be found in 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, where he says “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father.” Paul expresses his gratitude for the faith, love and hope of the Thessalonians, and his gratitude is demonstrated through his prayer and remembrance of them.

Another example of Paul’s expression of thanks can be found in Philippians 1:3-5, where he says “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” Paul expresses his gratitude for the fellowship and partnership in the gospel of the Philippians, and his gratitude is demonstrated through his prayer and joy for them.

Additionally, Paul’s expression of thanks is also demonstrated in his letters to other churches, such as Colossians 1:3-4, Ephesians 1:15-16 and 2 Corinthians 1:11-14, where he expresses his gratitude for the faith, love and hope of those communities. Paul’s expression of thanks teaches us that true gratitude is demonstrated through prayer and remembrance of others, and that being grateful means to be thankful and to express it in words and actions. It teaches us that true gratitude is not limited to certain people or certain situations, but it is for everyone who is part of our lives and faith journey.

What We Can Learn From Examples of Gratitude in the Bible

Looking through the bible, we can see numerous examples of gratitude in action. From giving thanks to God for His many blessings to thanking others for their kindness and teaching us how to be grateful despite our circumstances. There’s a lot that can be learned from the examples of gratitude found in the bible.

One great example is found in 2 Chronicles 7, where Solomon offers a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing after dedicating the temple. This is a powerful display of gratitude to God for all He has done and will do. It also teaches us to express our gratitude with humility and grace, no matter the size of our blessings.

Another example of gratitude can be seen in St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, where he thanks them for their steady support and recognition of his ministry. This is a beautiful example of expressing appreciation for someone who has done something good for you—it reminds us that sometimes it’s more important to appreciate what we have rather than what we don’t have.

These examples from the bible show us just how important it is to practice gratitude daily and express our appreciation towards others whenever possible. We can learn a lot from these biblical stories, so let’s take some time today to pause and be thankful!


In conclusion, gratitude is an important characteristic to have, as it can affect not only your personal life, but also your relationship with God. While the Bible contains many examples of gratitude, it is important to remember that gratitude should be a part of your life every day, not just during special occasions.

Grateful living can take many forms, but at its core is the concept of appreciation for what you have and an understanding of the significance of the blessings that God has bestowed upon you. Whether it be thanking God for His provision, expressing appreciation for a friend’s kindness, or offering praise for a wide variety of blessings, the Bible makes it clear that gratefulness is an essential part of faith. To be grateful is to recognize the importance of our relationship to God and to recognize that His blessings cannot be taken for granted, no matter the circumstances.

The Bible contains numerous examples of how to live a life of thankfulness, and these examples can continue to provide guidance for modern-day Christians. We can draw inspiration from the biblical characters who demonstrated their gratitude to God, and learn from their examples to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in our own lives. In doing so, we can experience the many benefits that living a life of gratefulness brings and strengthen our relationship with God. Moreover, by focusing on the gifts we have instead of what we lack, we can remain mindful of the good qualities God has given us. Thus, gratefulness can be a powerful tool to both nurture faith and draw closer to God.

Further Resources