Most of us know cultivating a grateful heart is good for us. But do we know just how good?
While practicing daily thankfulness may seem like another chore, I hope to convince you the power of gratitude far outweighs the few minutes it takes to practice it. There are so many reasons to intentionally cultivate gratitude!
Let’s unpack the power of gratitude with these 12 benefits of giving God thanks. (And go even deeper with this free 30-day Gratitude Bible Reading Plan.)
1.Gratitude glorifies God. This alone would be reason to give thanks to God. Our gratitude glorifies God as we exalt not the gifts, but the Giver. Gratitude helps us realize all we have comes not because of us, but from God.
And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. 2 Corinthians 4:15
2. Gratitude helps us see God. Gratitude opens our spiritual eyes. There’s a beautiful cycle in giving God thanks: the more we thank Him, the more we see Him working in us and around us. Gratitude helps us sense God’s presence, His personal care and His perfect timing.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. James 1:16-17
3. Gratitude puts us squarely in God’s will. We often make God’s will out to be some big, mystical plan when sometimes, it’s simply obedience. And part of His will for us is to be thankful, not just on the sunny days but on the hard ones as well.
…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
4. Gratitude brings peace. Count your blessings, not sheep we’re told to get rid of the worry keeping us up at night. Gratitude helps us see that God’s hand is all over our circumstances. And God tells us when we give him our thanks, He gives us supernatural peace.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
5. Gratitude draws us to God. Gratitude for the magnitude of God’s undeserved kindness draws us to Him. We see that when Jesus healed 10 lepers. As Jesus walked by, all 10 cried out for healing. “Go, show yourselves to the priests,” Jesus commanded and as they went, they were healed! Fingers were restored and ulcers disappeared as full sensation returned to their faces and limbs. Certainly they were all happy, but only one was thankful. Only one came back to Jesus, fell as his feet and thanked him.
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 17:17-19
6. Gratitude brings contentment. It’s said that gratitude makes what we have enough. If we aren’t grateful for what God has given us, getting more won’t satisfy us either. Being thankful is the key to contentment.
. . . godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and neither can we carry anything out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 1 Timothy 6:6-8
7. Gratitude deepens faith. Keeping a record of God’s past faithfulness is a faith boost when we face new difficulty. My gratitude journals are testimonies that on my hardest days and in the worst circumstances, God’s record of faithfulness is 100%. That’s why God commanded Israel to remember His great deeds.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1
8. Gratitude leads to joy. The overflow of gratitude is joy. Realizing God’s abundant goodness, even in the hard, is a gateway for joy. Psalms 126 shows this so clearly as the Hebrew exiles sang their thanks to God for bringing them back to Israel. It’s a psalm I prayed in advance for years.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:1-3
9. Gratitude defies Satan’s lies. Satan is so wily! He whispers that God isn’t good; that He’s withholding good from us. But his scheme’s as old as the garden of Eden, where he questioned Eve: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” When Eve responded only the tree of good and evil was off-limits, Satan suggested God was keeping good from them. “You will not certainly die. . . For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
In a garden that was perfect, that produced abundantly without work or weeding, where every single plant but ONE had been given to Adam and Eve, Satan focused on the lack. True gratitude for God and the abundance He gives protects us from caving to the enemy’s lies.
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
10. Gratitude guards against envy. Envy makes us want what someone else has. I mean, we deserve it! Gratitude makes us realize God has given us far more than we deserve. Because there’s enough for everyone, we can cheer rather than compare. A heart wholly grateful has no room left for envy.
I will give You thanks with all my heart; Psalm 138:1
11. Gratitude helps us live in the present. “Wherever you are, be all there!” Jim Elliot famously said. But that’s difficult to do in the worry and rush of life. Gratitude helps. Gratitude opens our eyes to the simple beauty of ordinary days. It lets us see this day and this moment as gifts and to take in the abundance right now.
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. Ecclesiastes 7:10
12. Gratitude is a testimony. When we thank God openly and acknowledge what He’s done for us, we proclaim a personal, caring God to the world around us. We show that contentment and peace come not from what we have but Who we know.
Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Psalm 105:1
Developing a grateful heart brings incredible blessing. My only regret in keeping a daily gratitude list? Not starting it sooner.
Want to cultivate a heart of gratitude? Go deeper with this free 30-day Gratitude Bible Reading Plan.