Scroll down to read C. H. Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Daily Devotionals.

 

Here’s a list of biblical examples of people showing gratitude.

1. David thanks God for his kingdom

Before becoming king of Israel, David was a wanted man. The current king Saul was threatened by David’s popularity with the people, and hunted David across the countryside.

However, God delivered David from Saul and all his enemies, and made David the king of Israel. Under David’s leadership, Israel’s influence expanded greatly. David became a high king, with the surrounding nations acknowledging him as their ruler.

After Saul’s death, David sings a song of praise to God, which includes this line near the end:

You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations
(2 Sam 22:49–50a)

The Hebrew for “praise” here actually means an expression of thanks to God.

2. David thanks God for wealth (while giving it back to God)

You probably know that Solomon was the king of Israel who had the privilege of building a temple to the Lord in Jerusalem. (That’s why it’s called “Solomon’s temple.”) It was a magnificent, magnificent building.

But Solomon didn’t design it: that honor goes to David. Before he died, David made plans for a great temple in Jerusalem. Those plans included a massive fundraising campaign to collect gold, silver, jewels, and supplies for building the temple.

That fundraiser was wildly successful: the leaders of the people gave generously—even out-giving David himself!

David was overjoyed. In response to his people’s generosity, he gave a prayer of thanks to God which includes this tidbit:

Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.
Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.
(1 Ch 29:12–13)

3. The psalmist thanks God for salvation

In the 118th Psalm, the psalmist calls all the people to give thanks to the Lord, then launches into a testimony of how God delivered him (or her) from disaster.

I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
(Ps 118:21)

4. The psalmist thanks God for his laws

Psalm 119 is the crown jewel of the psalter: a long, long ode to the Torah. The psalmist writing this piece extols God’s laws over and over and over again, including in the 62nd verse.

Here, the psalmist is proclaiming his dedication to the laws of the Lord. He goes so far as to say he wakes up in the middle of the night to thank God for his laws:

At midnight I rise to give you thanks
for your righteous laws.
(Ps 119:62)

5. Daniel thanks God for wisdom and power

Few characters in the Bible are quite like Daniel. This young man of royal blood was captured in Judah before Jerusalem was destroyed, and taken away to Babylon. Daniel resolves to be faithful to God and his laws, while also striving to seek the good of the city he lives in (Jer. 29:7).

Early in the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar has a troubling dream. He cannot understand it, and demands that the magicians and wise men of Babylon explain it to him. Nobody can except Daniel—who understands that this wisdom is given to him from God:

I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king
(Da 2:23)

Daniel is not only given wisdom, but great influence as well. For interpreting the king’s dream, Daniel is made the ruler of all Babylon’s wise men.

6. The healed leper thanks Jesus

During Bible times, leprosy was a serious problem. A leper had to live outside the community of people, as they were “unclean.” Lepers were disgraced outcasts in Jewish society.

But when 10 lepers happen upon Jesus, they call out to him for mercy. Jesus heals them all, but one thanks him for doing so.

The twist: the thankful man is a Samaritan! Even after being cleansed of his illness, he was still someone that the religious Jews would see as an outsider. Yet he still comes to Jesus, a Jew, and thanks him.

He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
(Lk 17:16)

7. Jesus gives thanks before meals

Jesus “gives thanks” before both miraculously feeding multitudes and announcing the New Covenant at the Last Supper.

Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied.
(Mt 15:36–37)

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
(Mk 14:23)

 8. Jesus thanks God to demonstrate his authority

Right before raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus thanks God for hearing him. (Though he says it for the benefit of those watching the miracle take place.)

Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
(Jn 11:41–42)

9. Tertullus thanks Felix for peaceful governance

When the Jews try to kill Paul, a Roman commander sends him to the governor to have the case examined. The Jews try to frame Paul as a troublemaker, and bring Tertullus, a lawyer, to plead their case.

Tertullus’ strategy is to thank the governor, Felix, for a period of peace. He then accuses Paul of disturbing that peace that Felix has maintained.

We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation. Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.
(Ac 24:2–3)

What a suck-up.

But still, if your local political leaders are doing a good job in your community, consider sending them a letter of thanks. Their interns will enjoy reading it.

10. Paul gives thanks to God for bread and safety

Paul’s ship is about to be wrecked, and everyone aboard knows it. However, Paul assures them that nobody will perish in the accident. He encourages everyone to eat a meal so that they have enough energy to swim for shore.

Before breaking bread, he thanks God in front of all the passengers and begins to eat. His shipmates are encouraged, and eat as well.

[Paul] took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all.
(Ac 27:35

11. Paul thanks God for Christian fellowship in Rome

Paul is greeted in Rome by a group of brothers and sisters who traveled to welcome him to the city. When he sees these people, he expresses gratitude to God.

At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged.
(Ac 28:15–16)

12. Paul thanks God for Christian church members and friends

Paul thanks God for the Romans (1:8), the Corinthians (1 Cor 1:4), the Ephesians (1:16), the Philippians (1:3), the Colossians’ faith (1:3), the Thessalonians (1 Thess 1:2; 2:13; 2 Thess 1:3; 2:13), and Philemon (4).

He especially calls out Priscilla and Aquilla, who risked their lives for him. Paul says that all churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them (Ro 16:3).

13. Paul thanks God for spiritual gifts

OK, technically Paul thanks God that he speaks in tongues (more than the Corinthians, BTW). But even though tongues is a terrific gift from God, Paul notes that it’s not as useful as intelligible instruction.

I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
(1 Co 14:18–19)  


Evening, December 5
Today's Morning Reading
"And the Lord shewed me four carpenters." - Zechariah 1:20

In the vision described in this chapter, the prophet saw four terrible horns. They were pushing this way and that way, dashing down the strongest and the mightiest; and the prophet asked, "What are these?" The answer was, "These are the horns which have scattered Israel." He saw before him a representation of those powers which had oppressed the church of God. There were four horns; for the church is attacked from all quarters. Well might the prophet have felt dismayed; but on a sudden there appeared before him four carpenters. He asked, "What shall these do?" These are the men whom God hath found to break those horns in pieces. God will always find men for his work, and he will find them at the right time. The prophet did not see the carpenters first, when there was nothing to do, but first the "horns," and then the "carpenters." Moreover, the Lord finds enough men. He did not find three carpenters, but four; there were four horns, and there must be four workmen. God finds the right men; not four men with pens to write; not four architects to draw plans; but four carpenters to do rough work. Rest assured, you who tremble for the ark of God, that when the "horns" grow troublesome, the "carpenters" will be found. You need not fret concerning the weakness of the church of God at any moment; there may be growing up in obscurity the valiant reformer who will shake the nations: Chrysostoms may come forth from our Ragged Schools, and Augustines from the thickest darkness of London's poverty. The Lord knows where to find his servants. He hath in ambush a multitude of mighty men, and at his word they shall start up to the battle; "for the battle is the Lord's," and he shall get to himself the victory. Let us abide faithful to Christ, and he, in the right time, will raise up for us a defence, whether it be in the day of our personal need, or in the season of peril to his Church.

-- C.H.Spurgeon Morning and Evening Daily Devotional