In this article, we will explore several Bible stories about thankfulness and thanksgiving. We will also look at what we can learn from them. So, grab your Bible and notebook, and let’s explore…
The Bible is a treasure trove of characters and stories with messages which are as applicable today as when the scriptures were written. From both the Old and the New Testaments, one can read stories about people who have turned to or trusted God in their situation and were helped. One theme which is common in many of these stories is thankfulness.
There are many Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments about thankfulness. Many prominent figures in the Bible were known for their faith and being thankful to God regardless of their circumstances, but many other lesser-known people also displayed gratitude.
Thankfulness or having a heart of thankfulness is part of God’s plan for His children. It’s one of the very many ways we show our appreciation, devotion, and worship to the Lord.
The theme of thankfulness can be found in most of the books of the Bible. In Lamentations 3:22-24, amidst all the destruction, pain, and suffering, the writer takes the time to praise God with a thankful heart. How powerful and beautiful is that?
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.” – Lamentations 3:22-24 NKJV
Now, let’s go over some Bible stories on thankfulness and how we can apply these truths to our lives.
Bible Stories About Thankfulness
Job: From Extreme Loss To Thankful Praise
In the Old Testament, we read the story of a faithful servant of God, Job. Job was incredibly blessed by God and had many children and earthly possessions. In fact, Job was so faithful that God used him as an example when Satan told God how bad the world was.
Satan insisted that Job was only faithful because God blessed him, so God gave Satan the right to destroy Job’s riches but not to kill him.
Satan subsequently destroyed everything Job had and finally even made him ill. Job’s wife and friends visited him where he was sitting on a rubbish dump and told him to curse God so that he may die, but Job would not.
Despite all his afflictions, Job never once cursed God and never sinned with his words, but instead acknowledged God’s sovereignty.
Although Job questioned God about what happened to him, he accepted it and remained faithful. In Job 1:21, Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
In the end, God healed Job and restored all his riches and earthly possessions. Job lived a long, happy, and blessed life, serving God with thankfulness.
What Can We Learn From Job’s Story?
Most importantly, to remain faithful to God despite our afflictions and thankful despite our circumstances. To remain faithful and grateful, regardless of our distress, is the will of God. As Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18:
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Hannah: Answered Prayer Leads To Thankfulness
In 1 Samuel 1, we read the story of a woman named Hannah. She was one of two wives to a man called Elkanah. Hannah had been married to Elkanah for many years but bore him no children, while Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, did. Peninnah would often ridicule Hannah for not having children. Being ridiculed was very hard for Hannah to bear.
One year, while Elkanah and his family went to worship at the Tabernacle in Shiloh to bring sacrifices to the Lord, Hannah poured out her heart to the Lord. She begged Him for a child, promising to give the child God gave her back to Him. God heard her prayer, and she bore a son whom she named Samuel, who became one of the most influential religious leaders of biblical times.
The joy and thankfulness that Hannah felt at having finally borne a child were such that she could not contain it. In Hannah’s prayer, as recorded in 1 Samuel 2, she praised God for what He had done. In verses 1-2, Hannah says:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn[a] is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. - 1 Samuel 2:1-2
What Can We Learn From Hannah’s Story?
From this story, we see that God can answer prayers in miraculous ways and can change a person’s circumstances. We also learn to be thankful to God when he answers our prayers and to keep the promises we make to Him.
King Jehoshaphat: Trusting God Brings Forth Thankfulness
In 2 Chronicles 20, we read about King Jehoshaphat, who received news that the massive armies of three different nations were on their way to war against him. Although King Jehoshaphat was greatly distressed, he declared a period of fasting and prayer to seek God’s help. Jehoshaphat prayed: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
A prophet of the Lord told the king to move out towards the armies, but they would not need to fight because God would fight the battle for them. Jehoshaphat did as the prophet told him.
As he moved out, he appointed people to sing praises and give thanks to the Lord. Eventually, the three armies fought and destroyed one another, and Judah won without fighting.
What Can We Learn From King Jehoshaphat’s Story?
There are three critical lessons we can learn from this story:
- First, seek the Lord in times of trouble.
- Secondly, be obedient when God commands you to do something, regardless of how silly it may sound.
- Thirdly, praise God and give thanks, even before the battle has been won, as it is a sign of faith.
Jesus Heals Ten Lepers: Thankfulness In Healing
In Luke 17, we read the story of one of Jesus’ miracles. Jesus is approached by ten men suffering from leprosy, and instead of healing them on the spot, he commands them to go and show themselves to the priests. On their way to the priests, they were healed.
When they realized that they were healed, one of the ten men, a Samaritan, turned back, “praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.” Jesus’ response to this man was to say to him, “your faith has made you well.”
What Can We Learn From The 10 Leper’s Story?
This story reminds us of the importance of thanking God and praising Him for His healing touch and when He answers our prayers. We serve a good God who deserves all the praise and adoration. In Psalm 100:4-5 says…
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
The Sinful Woman: Forgiveness Leads To Love and Thankfulness
In Luke 7:36-50, we read that Jesus was invited to dinner at the house of one of the Pharisees. A sinful woman that some suggest was Mary Magdalene entered the house and proceeded to wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and dry them with her hair before anointing them with fragrant oil from an alabaster jar and kissing them.
The Pharisees and others present were horrified, as they regarded the woman as sinful. In Jesus’ response to the Pharisees, He said that a person who has been forgiven of many sins would love more and be thankful than one who has been forgiven of fewer sins.
He then turned to the woman and told her all her sins had been forgiven.
What Can We Learn From The Sinful Woman Story?
If we realize just how sinful we are and how great God’s grace is, so great that He would forgive us our multitude of sins, we cannot help but give thanks, praise Him, and to express our thankfulness in action, as this woman did in the scriptures.
Thankfulness helps us recognize how sinful we are and how great God’s grace is towards us. There are many stories in the Bible where people express gratitude in response to what God has done for them. These stories teach us to be thankful for everything that God has done for us and for answered prayers. We must be thankful despite our circumstances, as this fulfills God’s will for us.
*All images were from Free Bible Images
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…