9 Inspiring Stories of Gratitude in the Bible

9 Inspiring Stories of Gratitude in the Bible

Need a little inspiration, to be more grateful in whatever circumstances you find yourself in? Lets explore some incredible stories of gratitude in the Bible!

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I am SO prone to being a grump sometimes. Yes, I just admitted that!

If I feel crummy, the day is not going well, if Im anything less than thrilled, sometimes I tend to fall into a spiral of despondent grumpiness and woe-is-me/the-world-is-going-to-pot thinking.

Certainly, the opposite of being thankful!

But this year, I am focused on changing that. Ive got my gratitude journal in hand, a more thankful perspective, and Im hoping to make this gratitude habit STICK.

Maybe youve had this problem too? Life just seems overwhelming, like there is nothing good and a lot of bad. And then, even when something good does happen, you forget to thank God for it!

Which is crazy, right? There are so many wonderful benefits of gratitude mentioned in the Bible, why are we not practicing thankfulness much more? We forget just how much our Heavenly Father does for us, and how deserving He is of our praise and thanksgiving.

Think about how many troubles the people in the Bible went through running from enemies, experiencing heartache and loss, sickness, and so forth. And yet, in spite of all the hardships, there are many wonderful examples of gratitude in the Bible!

9 Inspiring Stories of Gratitude in the Bible

So, lets explore just a few of these Biblical stories of thankfulness, and the lessons we can learn from them.

1) Naomi and Ruth

First up in these stories of gratitude in the Bible, are Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth. If youve ever read their story, you know the hardships these women endured! They were both widowed, Naomi lost her only sons, Ruth was childless, and they couldve easily become bitter and ungrateful.

Her mother-in-law asked her, Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you! Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz, she said. The Lord bless him! Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead. She added, That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.
Ruth 2:19-20 (NIV)

But instead, they were so humble and grateful throughout their struggles. God showed them favor, and they thanked Him for it!

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.
Ruth 4:13-15 (NIV)

2) Davids song of praise

Speaking of Gods favor, Ruth and Boaz son Obed became the grandfather of King David! And there are few people who showed gratitude in the Bible more than David! Hes the source of so many examples of gratitude in the Bible, particularly in the Psalms. In this story from 2 Samuel 22, he gave thanks to the Lord after God delivered him from his enemies:

David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
He said:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;   
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,    
my shield and the horn of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior    
from violent people you save me.

2 Samuel 22:1-3 (NIV)

Davids example reminds us that, even though we may go through seasons of difficulty, God is our refuge and our deliverer. With Gods help, we will see breakthroughs!

gratitude word cloud

3) Nehemiah: wall of Jerusalem dedication

This Scripture passage illustrates a very simple Bible lesson on gratitude: when God gives you a major victory, dont skimp on the praise!

At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres.
Nehemiah 12:27 (NIV)

Nehemiah and the exiles who had returned to Israel worked so hard building that wall, and God helped them overcome many obstacles. So, it was only fitting to celebrate by making music to God, and giving Him all the glory!

4) Jobs humble praise

Of all the stories of gratitude in the Bible, none is quite so poignant as Jobs. In a moment of total despair after losing his children and his livelihood, Job didnt have many reasons to be thankful to God. In fact, he had plenty of reasons to be mad at God! He couldve ranted and raved and totally turned his back on God.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
Naked I came from my mothers womb,    
and naked I will depart.The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;    
may the name of the Lord be praised.

Job 1:20-21 (NIV)

But yet, he praised God. Simply, humbly, sincerely. Wow.

5) Jeremiah: celebrating Gods mercy

Speaking of gratitude in the midst of trials, that is exactly what we see in the book of Lamentations, which was written by the prophet Jeremiah. The first two chapters are truly a lament, about the depth and depravity of the Israelites sins, and how God allowed their enemies to conquer them as a result.

But, Jeremiah wasnt so consumed by the sadness of the situation that He forgot Gods mercy. Chapter three of Lamentations is all about Gods goodness, and the benefits of giving thanks to God! As it says in verse 3:25, The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him

Because of the Lords great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:22-26 (NIV)

It goes to show, even in the midst of a very troubled and broken world, there is still plenty of room for hope, praise, and thanksgiving for our awesome God!

6) Daniels defiant prayer of thanks

Next up in our stories of gratitude in the Bible, is Daniel! And what a great example he was. When Daniel learned that King Darius had issued a decree, banning his subjects from praying to any other god besides himself, Daviel didnt let that stop him from giving thanks to God.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
Daniel 6:10 (NIV)

Of course, if youve read the book of Daniel, you know what happened next: Daniel was thrown into the lions den, and God protected him! I dont know about you, but I sure admire Daniels strong faith and his boldness in staying true to God.

It begs the question, how often do we let our circumstances prevent us from praying and giving thanks? And how can we be confident like Daniel, and pray anyway?

count your blessings sign and Bible

7) The fathers thanksgiving at his sons return

This story of the prodigal son is a great illustration of the importance of thanksgiving in the Bible! Of course, gratitude has many benefits. But specifically in this case, gratitude leads to forgiveness and reconciliation. The fathers pure joy at his sons safe return, moves him to not only forgive his son, but also to celebrate!

The son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
But the father said to his servants, Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Lets have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate.

Luke 15:21-24 (NIV)

There are so many benefits of gratitude in the Bible, but I think it all boils down to one thing: gratitude changes our hearts! A little bit of thankfulness can brighten your mood, and soften your heart.  

8) The ONE leper who came back to give thanks

Of all these examples of gratitude, this story shows the greatest contrast between grateful and ungrateful people in the Bible. Jesus healed a group of ten lepers, but only one of them came back to thank Jesus!

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, Jesus, Master, have pity on us!
When he saw them, he said, Go, show yourselves to the priests. And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked himand he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner? Then he said to him, Rise and go; your faith has made you well.

Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)

Makes me think, when God blesses me in some way, or a person helps me or does something extra kind, do I make a point to thank them? Do you? Lets make sure we dont forget to give thanks!

9) Pauls contentment in every situation

The last of our stories of gratitude in the Bible is not just one story, but rather, a whole attitude of gratitude from one of the most prolific writers of the New Testament: the Apostle Paul. He demonstrated gratitude in his own actions, and throughout his letters he advised us all to practice gratitude.

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:4 (NIV)

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
Romans 16:3-4 (NIV)

He even gave thanks in the middle of a shipwreck!

Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. For the last fourteen days, he said, you have been in constant suspense and have gone without foodyou havent eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head. After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.
Acts 27:33-36 (NIV)

One thing that really stands out to me, is Pauls statement in Philippians 4. Its an essential Biblical teaching on thanksgiving: to be grateful for what we have, and not worry about what we dont. To be content!

And I think thats the whole concept of gratitude right there. If we can celebrate and give God praise for the blessings we receive, and try not to worry about what we dont have, thats the sweet spot.

When I look around at the blessings I have, theres a lot (maybe all!) that I dont deserve. Lots of them I didnt earn, or ask for. God just gave it freely! And I hope you feel the same that youre immensely grateful for all that you have, and try not to worry about what you lack. God is your provider, and He gives the blessings He deems appropriate, whether or not you deserved any of them in the first place.

Did you enjoy these stories of gratitude in the Bible? Want to see more about what Gods Word says on this subject? Check out these 30 Bible Verses About Appreciation and Gratitude!

Barbara Austin

Hi! Thank you so much for visiting Divine Creative Love. I’m a Jesus-lovin’ girl, lettering artist, designer, and general creative-at-heart. And, I have narcolepsy. I blog about faith in God, overcoming challenges, and creative topics such as Bible journaling. If you’re new here, be sure and subscribe to my list so you won’t miss anything!