The Catholic Dictionary defines Gratitude–“The virtue by which a person acknowledges, interiorly and exteriorly, gifts received and seeks to make at least some return for the gift conferred. Essentially gratitude consists of an interior disposition, a grateful heart, but when genuine it tries somehow to express itself in words and deeds. Consequently it includes three elements: acknowledgment that a gift has been received, appreciation expressed in thankfulness, and as far as possible some return for what has been freely given with no obligation on the donor’s part.” In today’s Bible quotes considering gratitude in the Bible, let’s see what Father John Hardon has to say about gratitude and we’ll pay close attention to a beautiful verse in Colossians.
Bible Quotes: Gratitude in the Bible
This post may contain affiliate links to products I love and recommend.
My favorite author, next to God, is Tommy Newberry. He is the author of The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life. In it he states, “You will find that your capacity for joy increases as your sense of gratitude grows.” You know what that makes me think of? Have ever watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Remember that part towards the end where his joy starts stretching his heart? That’s exactly what I envision when I read that Tommy Newberry quote.
The more grateful we are, the more joyful–Joyfilled we will be. And the more joyfilled we are, the more grateful we will be. A beautiful circle of joy and gratitude.
As I was gathering Scriptures for the free printable list of Bible Quotes about gratitude, I was struck by how “gratitude” was an active word. Meaning, it wasn’t something one just contemplated, quietly, in a small, dark, cloistered, cell. Look at some of these verses:
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make His deeds known among the peoples! (1 Chronicles 16:8) Some verse say, “Give praise to the Lord; proclaim His greatness!” That sounds pretty active to me.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord…Come into His gates with thanksgiving! (Psalm 100) Again, pretty active sounding to me.
And not only are gratitude and thanksgiving active, they are also constant.
I do not cease to give thanks for you…(Ephesians 1:16)
Giving thanks always and for everything…(Ephesians 5:20)
And I love in Colossians where Paul uses the word “abounding.” Synonyms for “abounding” include: filled, teeming, abundant, bountiful, copious, profuse, prolific…
…abounding in thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:7)
Let’s quickly look at Colossians again
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives submit to your husbands, as is fitting to the Lord. Husbands love your wives, and do not be harsh with them…
Oh my goodness you guys where do we even start? Well, first off, this passage of Scripture begin with mentioning the peace of Christ–telling us to let it rule in our hearts. You know I’m no theologian…or English major according to that last sentence! But that verse right there tells me I need the peace of Christ…and looking around the world today, I’m not going to find it out there. I’m going to find it in Christ and if I’ve always got some device in my hand or background noise going on…I won’t find it…it won’t find me.
The first one is, “Excessive ‘noise.’ By this I am referring to the sheer velocity of life. The constant connection to commitments, obligations, and looming deadlines keep us preoccupied with urgency throughout the day. It is easy for gratitude to get suppressed under the busyness of daily life.” And the fourth one mentioned, “Lack of a connection and intimacy with God. When we are right with God, we naturally and humbly cherish life for what it is–a temporary gift. This connection with God breeds in us an awe for life. We can be thankful for what life has to offer and what we have been given to offer the world.”
Next in this verse in Colossians, “And be thankful.” That’s all Paul needed to say. Thankful for what you may ask? I read this in the footnotes of the Haydock Bible, “Employ yourselves in studying and reading the Scriptures; meditate on what our Saviour has done and suffered for you.” There’s what we should be thankful for every.single.blessed.day. And there’s how we do it…we study, read and meditate on the Scriptures.
Let me tell you something, since I’ve started this 31 Days writing challenge on my topic of Bible Quotes, I’ve researched Scriptures, typed Scriptures and printed Scriptures…but I have not put my hands all over my Bible and read the Word or meditated on the Word. And let me tell you this, culling Scriptures from various sources and compiling them into a neat little printable is not the same thing as reading and meditating.
You want to know how I do it all…sometimes I don’t. And if I’m not taking in the Word of God…it can’t dwell richly in me. Anyway…on that note…
There’s so much more we can dig out of those verses in Colossians and we will sometime as part of the 31 Days of Bible Quotes. We definitely need to revisit “Gratitude” and probably “Joy.” We need to consider one of things I found interesting in these verses was their placement right before Paul’s instruction to wives and husbands; but we’ll get to that another time.
Let me leave you with this from Father John Hardon
There are three words I would like to leave with you of how we should show our gratitude to God. They are thanks-thinking, thanks-saying, and thanks-giving.
Here’s your free printable list of Bible Quotes Gratitude
Bible Quotes Resources
My large print Bible
(This is my go-to Bible. It’s large print and just feels nice in my hands.)
Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament
(I use this Bible when I’m looking for some more information about the text.)
The Catholic Bible Concordance for the Revised Standard Version
(You want to know where a word is in the Bible? This is the book for you!)
The Great Commentary of Cornelius A’ Lapide
(I use this commentary for more information as well.)
A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture
(I like this commentary because it also has reflections and applications.)