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The Seven Most Thankful People in the Bible

Do you ever consider how difficult it is for your pastor to speak about thankfulness on Thanksgiving, about the resurrection at Easter, and about the birth of Jesus at Christmas? Unless he has the brilliance of Spurgeon and can find fresh manna every week, he more than likely dreads these days because he knows that there’s nothing new under the sun. And so, he asks those who hear him week after week to have grace and to allow him to repeat the great truths that each day represents as he re-presents them.

It’s estimated that over 2,900 people are mentioned by name in the Bible. I’m going to see if I can find the seven in that great crowd who best exemplify a thankful heart.

Arguably, number one on the list has to be dear Job. I say “dear” because my heart breaks for the man every time I think of his nightmarish suffering. He lost everything, and yet he was able to keep his head above the water and say with (what seems to be) a heart of thanksgiving:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)

Second on the list is King David, whom God used to gift us with Psalm 103. Look at how pregnant it is with thanksgiving:

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)

Third is the apostle Paul. Under great suffering, he radiated with a thankful heart, giving thanks in and for all things. He said, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15). There are no adequate words to express thanksgiving for the cross and the consequent gift of eternal life for sinners such as us.

In the Old Testament, Hannah’s story is one of thankfulness. When she was hopelessly barren, she fervently prayed for a child. And, when God granted her request and she gave birth to Samuel, she overflowed with a thankful heart to God in a prayer (see 1 Samuel 2:1-10).

Number five is Mary, the mother of Jesus. After learning that she would give birth to the Messiah, she had a heart and prayer very similar to that of Hannah. She said:

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. (Luke 1:46-47)

Number six has to be the leper who didn’t forget to thank God for His healing. Ten were healed by Jesus, and yet only one, a Samaritan, returned to give thanks (see Luke 17:11-19). What a lesson he is for us cleansed lepers.

“The gift of God is eternal life through the despised One—Jesus Christ our Lord. How can we not be daily bursting with thanksgiving for that!”

Each of these six individuals are examples of a living faith, reminding us to never forget to be thankful to God when we are happy or sad, wealthy or poor, healthy or sick. This is because we have the cross to lift us above the waters. That old rugged cross ever stands as a reminder of His great love.

But there is another example we must never forget: Jesus. He is our greatest example in every area, including the importance of thankfulness. In Matthew 11:25-26, He thanked His Father for something very unusual. It is one of the greatest enigmas—the hidden nature of the gospel: “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.’”

What an amazing thing God has done through the foolishness of the gospel. He has turned the tables on this proud and arrogant world. It is hidden from them. He has granted everlasting life to “babes”—the poor in spirit and the humble of heart. The gift of God is eternal life through the despised One—Jesus Christ our Lord. How can we not be daily bursting with thanksgiving for that!

 

Ray Comfort

Ray Comfort is the Founder and CEO of Living Waters, a bestselling author, and has written more than 100 books, including, The Evidence Study Bible. He cohosts the award-winning television program Way of the Master, which airs in 190 countries.

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