Gratitude and thanksgiving in the Bible: From grumbling to gratefulness

*Editor’s note: This information was published in the November 2021 issue of Heartfelt Magazine, CHM’s monthly magazine that provides CHM membership-related tips and tricks, medical advice from doctors, testimonies from CHM members, and more. Please refer to the CHM Guidelines and applicable web pages for the most up-to-date information regarding CHM membership, sharing eligibility, and ministry news.*

Why are some people happier and more content than others? Is it because they get more of their expectations met, or because they make a conscious choice to be grateful?

In most cases, being thankful and grateful is a conscious choice. You can choose to complain when circumstances are difficult or you can “rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).

The book of Genesis teaches us about Sarah, who was barren. She decided to take things into her own hands and gave her handmaid, Hagar, to her husband so Hagar could have a child for Sarah. That didn’t turn out well. In the end, God sent the angels to tell Sarah that she would have a child. She laughed because it didn’t seem possible to her, but God kept His promise and gave her a son. Through God’s provision, her grumbling about an inability to have a child turned to gratitude.

In another example, Jonah decided to run away after receiving his mission from the Lord. He even grumbled to the sailors of the ship he boarded to make his escape. His grumbling didn’t help—and they threw him overboard. His grumbling turned to shouts of grateful praise while he was inside the huge fish that God sent to swallow him. God delivered him from the fish, and he was given a second chance to complete his mission.

Instead of laughing or running from God, we can choose to live a conscious life of gratitude and thankfulness.

Here’s a prayer of thanksgiving to help you choose gratitude in uncertain times:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord, we come to you, not to ask for anything, but to thank you for all you have done. Thank you for the trials that shape us and for protecting us along the way. We know we don’t have to worry because you are in control.

In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

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