It can be easy to be thankful when things are going well, right? But what about when things are going wrong?
How can we teach our families about gratitude, when the world tells us we should whine and complain when things don’t go our way??
Let’s go straight to the source! Here are 7 brilliant Bible stories about gratitude to read on your own and with your kids!
Bible Stories About Gratitude To Read With Your Family
It can be so easy to lose sight of things to be thankful for. It seems one bad thing after another is happening and we start to feel cold towards God, justifying why we feel the way we do.
When in reality, the fact that we JUST took a breath (as I am writing this, as you are reading this) and that in and of itself is something to praise and worship God for, every minute of every day!!!!
The Bible tells us to be thankful in all circumstances. Paul talked about learning to be content whether he had a little or a lot (we’ll talk about that too!), and it’s an important concept that we can teach our children as well.
Before we can start teaching our kids about gratitude, we first need to make sure we are modeling it ourselves! And that starts with digging into scripture and reading different Bible stories about gratitude.
This brings us to the main point today…
7 Bible Stories About Gratitude
Now that we understand a little more about training our minds to be grateful, it’s time to dig into God’s Word and what scripture says about thankfulness!!
Most of these stories are well-known, but I would encourage you to go back and read them alone, and then with your children – praying for “fresh” eyes! 🙂
Here are 7 Bible stories about gratitude we see in scripture…
**These printables use the NIV translation of the Bible. Read full disclosure here.
1. The 10 Lepers
“When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back, praising God in a loud voice. He fell facedown at Jesus’ feet in thanksgiving to Him—and he was a Samaritan.” Luke 17:15-16 NIV
READ: Luke 17:11-19
This is such a LITERAL and beautiful representation of the importance of saying thank you.
Basically, Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem, passing between Samaria and Galilee. He came into contact with some lepers, and in His love and sovereignty, healed them.
What a miracle!!! You’d think they would’ve come running back, shouting praises to God from the rooftops, right?
You know how many came back, right? Out of 10?
That’s 10% of the people who were healed that came back to say thank you. One man understood that it wasn’t of his own power that he was healed, but he gave the credit to the ONE who heals!
Sometimes, we forget to thank God when He does GOOD things for us, rather than only coming to Him and asking for help for the bad, and then thanking Him when He does.
God wants us to always have that first instinct to thank Him in ALL circumstances and come to Him with a heart of gratitude when we pray.
2. Jesus And The Sinful Woman
“When a sinful woman from that town learned that Jesus was dining there, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears and wipe them with her hair. Then she kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume.” Luke 7: 37-38 NIV
READ: Luke 7:36-50
This is such a beautiful story! It may be well known, but that doesn’t mean it loses its impact or importance.
Jesus was invited to eat at a Pharisees’ house, and this TOTALLY random “sinful” woman, as the Bible calls her, shows up too.
It says that when she learned Jesus would be there, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, which meant this was something VERY precious to her.
She kissed his feet and washed them with her hair and the perfume. Because of her love and act of worship, Jesus said she was forgiven. Of her MANY sins.
Basically, this lady up outta nowhere, knew who Jesus was and what He could do! She came with a thankful and grateful heart, literally pouring out the best that she had at His feet.
This is a great story to read with your kids, about always giving God our love and worship!
“I prayed for this boy, and since the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him, I now dedicate the boy to the LORD. For as long as he lives, he is dedicated to the LORD.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28 NIV
READ: 1 Samuel 1
Hannah was one of two wives to a man named Ephriam. It says that the Lord had closed her womb, and she was constantly taunted by the other wife – probably due to the fact that she was loved more than her by the Ephriam.
Can you imagine someone taunting you with that, every day, for YEARS, like it says in this chapter?
She had every reason to be upset, and not be thankful. BUT…
In her distress, she cried out to God and prayed for a son.
Lo’ and behold, God “remembered her prayer” and she gave birth to a child. What was her first response? Thank you!
She acknowledged that GOD was the one who gave her this child – He was the one who granted her this desire and she then, in turn, dedicated the boy’s life to the Lord.
She could have been bitter or thought that maybe she had the child “without God’s help.”
We do this sometimes… we think that we earn these things – a promotion, building something, seeing our kids succeed at something… when really they are all GOOD gifts from our Father, and we should thank Him!
“My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You. Therefore I retract my words, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 NIV
Oh Job… this is honestly one of the TOUGHEST books to read yet one of the most beautiful because of Job’s faith in God.
Basically, Job lost EVERYTHING. And I’m not exaggerating… literally everything he owned was taken away from Him.
And while he did struggle and was challenged in his faith constantly (anyone remember his two friends???), he ultimately decided that God was bigger than His struggles and still worthy to be praised!
Even in his anguish, Job STILL cried out to God.
Guess what happened in the end?
God blessed Job even MORE than he was at the beginning of the book… will that always happen for us too? No, but we can still be thankful too!
5. King David & The Psalms
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4 NIV
READ: Psalms 7, 28, 50, 69, 95, 100, 103
If you open your Bible to the middle, not only will you land in the book of Psalms, but probably see a few references to praise and Thanksgiving!
In fact, a lot of worship song lyrics we sing comes from this book, because of its poetic nature and flow.
David was ALWAYS praising and thanking God, even though He didn’t always make the best decisions (murdered a man, slept with someone’s wife, etc… you know).
BUT you can pick any story in this book and see how David turned back to God as the gift-giver and gave Him praise.
“Now when Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house, where the windows of his upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Daniel 6:10 NIV
READ: Daniel 6
Daniel is such a GREAT example of having strong faith and extreme gratitude to God, no matter what situation he was faced with.
He was pretty much set up to fail when he was told that anyone who worships any other god besides the current King Darius, would be killed.
What did Daniel do?
He chose to give thanks to God, and worship him, even if it meant death!
He was then thrown into the lion’s den, but because of his faithfulness, God shut the mouths of the lion and was glorified in the situation.
King Darius even encouraged his people to praise and fear “Daniel’s” God! How awesome is that!
Imagine if Daniel had chosen to give in and stay quiet, not worshipping God. What a huge MISS that would have been for God to be glorified to many, many people!
“I am not saying this out of need, for I have learned to be content regardless of my circumstances. I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation—to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need.” Philippians 4:11-12 NIV
READ: Philippians (yes, the whole book! So good!)
I feel like I don’t even have to say how thankful Paul was… and with good reason!
He used to be someone who KILLED Christians because they believed in God. So you can imagine why he was so humble after he came to know God, and God changed his life.
Talk about a complete 180!!!!
Paul dealt with being in prison, beaten, shipwrecked… and do you know what attitude he kept throughout it all?
An attitude of gratitude, because he remembered where he used to be.
Not only did he practice contentment in all circumstances (jail for example) but he even prayed for those who persecuted him, and shared the Gospel with them.
How awesome would it be to be more like Paul in that way??
Teaching Your Kids About Gratitude
There are so many different, hands-on ways we can teach our kids about gratitude!
One fun way to do this is by using a gratitude journal for your kids!
I made for you a free printable gratitude journal for kids!
It is 6 pages and includes places for them to really think about things they are grateful for, the best moment of the day, how they’re feeling, as well as Bible verses that talk about thankfulness that you can pray together with them.
Do you want access to MORE awesome, biblical, FREE printables like this one? Get exclusive access to my free printables resource library here!!!
7 Bible Stories About Gratitude
I pray that these Bible stories on gratitude encourage you and your family to remain thankful in all circumstances!
When you are struggling, or your kids are, guide yourself/them back to the Word, these stories, and be filled. 🙂
Which of these stories is your favorite? Have any others to add? Let me know in the comments!