Part 2 of 2: Biblical Study of Giving Thanks
Today, I will highlight examples of gratefulness culled from the New Testament.
1. Thanks was given to God for sending the Redeemer to Israel. Anna, the prophetess, welcomed the baby Jesus with thanks to God.
2. Many times, Jesus is shown giving thanks to the Father for food. He said this “grace” publicly before sharing food with the crowds. Most astounding, He also thanked God for the bread and wine that He shared with his disciples at the Last Supper, when He assigned to them the symbolism of His broken body and shed blood that He would very soon be literally fulfilling.
3. Jesus thanked the Father for making the Gospel simple–for revealing it to “infants’ rather than to the “wise and intelligent.”
4. Jesus thanked the Father for hearing His prayer. He was praying in front of the crowd at his friend Lazarus’ tomb and He knew that His Father would allow Lazarus to come back to life, then and there.
5. A Samaritan leper who was healed by Jesus returned to thank Him. This is the only time where someone who Jesus healed returned to thank Him.
6. Jesus told a parable in which the lesson is given that we are not to thank God with a spirit of pride. Remember the two men praying? One was a proud Pharisee who thanked God that he wasn’t like the tax collector or other sinners; the other was a humble tax collector who simply begged God’s mercy. Humility goes along with thankfulness!
7. This one is a bit hard for us to take: We do not deserve thanks from God even when we are obedient. We definitely need His grace to be humble!
8. We are taught in the epistles to give thanks for other believers, those we know and those whose faith we have heard about.
9. Also modeled for us in the epistles, we are to give thanks for those who pray for us and for those who give to our ministry needs.
10. We are to thank God for His guidance and that His work goes on wherever He leads.
11. We have God to thank for our great salvation! As we are told in John 3:16–“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” With Paul, I say, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor 9:15).
12. We are to KEEP our hearts in a continual attitude of thankfulness. See Ephesians 5:18.
13. Replace unwholesome speech with the giving of thanks (Ephesians 5:3-4).
14. Being thankful will bring contentment.
15. Being thankful is connected with having peace.
16. We are to be thankful to God because it is His rightful due. We see this idea when reading Romans 1:21, 28 and 2:2.
17. Praise of God is an outgrowth of a thankful heart. See Hebrews 13:15: Praise is “the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”
I did not list out all the Scriptures for the points that I highlighted. I do have them, though, so let me know if you would like my list. However, you may also want to do your own study, as I did, by using an online tool such as blueletterbible.org to search for every Biblical reference to words such as thankfulness and grateful and thanks, etc.
“Father, thank You for this study from Your Word. I needed the reminder! Help me to be thankful in everything and to have a continual outpouring of praise to you from a thankful heart. I so need that; You deserve that. Amen.”