The Gift of Gratitude


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—

those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

those he gathered from the lands,

from east and west, from north and south.[a]

Some wandered in desert wastelands,

finding no way to a city where they could settle.

They were hungry and thirsty,

and their lives ebbed away.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress.

He led them by a straight way

to a city where they could settle.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for mankind,

for he satisfies the thirsty

and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 107:1-9

Gratitude is a key component of the Christian life. In fact, I’d go even so far as to say it is essential.

If a man or woman can call themselves a Christian without gratitude defining the foundation of the life they live, one might wonder if they even understand salvation.

Salvation is a free gift from God through faith. His Son, sent freely, to die on a cross to pay the debt that we owed because of our sin and rebellion. It is both offered and received freely by grace. Gratitude and praise is the only appropriate response.

However, if we were to believe that God owed us salvation in some way, or that we somehow earned it on our own because of our good works, then gratitude would not be required. Because salvation would be something that we worked to deserve.

Therefore, if you don’t live every day with gratitude toward God, one might wonder if you fully understand the cost that Christ paid or the riches of his gift to you.

Gratitude is essential to Christian living.

It is important to mention on this Thanksgiving week that gratitude in the life of the Christ-follower is more than mere lip service. It is more than saying we are thankful, or even feeling it in our hearts. We don’t just “feel” it, it changes how we live:

1. We speak our thankfulness out loud.

“Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” —Hebrews 13:15

2. We repent of sin and pursue righteousness.

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” —Romans 2:4

3. We forgive others.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” —Ephesians 4:32

4. We go out of our way to be with God.

“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 him.” —Luke 17:15

5. We don’t let circumstances affect our relationship with Him.

“Give thanks in all circumstances” —I Thessalonians 5:16

6. We overcome worry.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” —Philippians 4:6-7

7. We share with others when we see a need.

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” —Hebrews 3:16

And I’m sure the list of how gratitude changes us could continue.

Gratitude is an essential piece of the Christian life.

It is not just something we talk about or “feel,” it overwhelms our life into action.


Heavenly Father, thank you for everything you do. Allow me to exude gratitude in every aspect of my life. May I repent, forgive, overcome, and seek you always. Amen.