Summary: God deserves to be given gratitude because He desires it and for the great and innumerable things He has done for the human race. Six (6) major reasons why gratitude should be accorded to God and the blessings that can accrue for doing so are discussed in this ministration.
Gratitude (or thanksgiving, appreciativeness, praise, honor) is due to God from all living things because the Bible says, “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). Human beings have the greatest obligation to render gratitude to God for the simple fact that God made us in His own image and gave us dominion over all other creatures (Gen 1:26-28). While there are innumerable reasons why gratitude is due to God from His creatures only (6) are highlighted and discussed in this message for the sake of brevity. In general, the 6 reasons portray either the will, injunction, or attributes of God. Happy reading in the mighty name of Jesus:
#1. God Desires Receiving Gratitude
It is the desire of God that we give Him thanks for everything in our lives. This is stated severally in His word as indicated in the following scriptures:
• “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
• “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Eph. 5:20).
From the forgoing scriptures, it is obvious that God wants the gratitude from us to Him to be:
• Personal (“concerning you”). That is, directly from you to God
• Perpetual (“always”). That is, all the times
• Pervasive (“in every thing”, “for all things”), For all things and all circumstances.
One Biblical story that affirms the appreciation God has for giving of gratitude is about the healing of 10 lepers by Jesus Christ (Luke 17: 12-19). When the 10 lepers cried to Jesus for mercy, He gave a simple instruction, “..Go shew yourselves unto the priests.” (Luke 17:14, KJV). As they obeyed and went, they were all cleansed. However, only one of the 10 lepers returned to give thanks (Luke 17: 12-19). The one who returned gloried God with a loud voice falling on his face at the feet of Jesus Christ, giving Him thanks (v.17). Jesus Christ rewarded the leper who returned to give thanks with additional blessing by declaring to him “..Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (v. 19).
Given that Jesus Christ is omniscient He must have known that all the 10 lepers were cleansed. However, He still asked the questions, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (v17). These questions asked by Jesus seem to suggest that He disapproved the ungrateful attitude of the 9 lepers who did not return to give thanks for their cleansing. Aside from the ‘rebuke’ Jesus ditched out to the 9 lepers who did not return to give thanks, no further information was available about them beyond their cleansing.
Obedience and giving of thanks are two important lessons the believer can learn from the miracle of healing of the 10 lepers. The believer will not be doing God’s will if he/she fails to give gratitude to Him for what He has done for you and is doing for you. Remember, God loads us with benefits everyday (Ps. 68:19). Obviously, His will must be that He expects us to give Him thanks every day for everything. Expression of gratitude to God can take various forms including praising, worshiping, testifying, giving, serving, witnessing, sponsoring specific projects in your church in acknowledging specific thing God has done for you, etc.
#2: Goodness of God
Gratitude is due to God because He is good (Psa. 73:1) and His creatures are good (1 Tim 4:4). As God was systematically creating all things in Genesis chapter one, He was evaluating the quality of each product/thing or group of product(s) / thing(s) created at each stage. In this regard, He described the following as “good” immediately upon creation: light (v4), Earth and Seas (v.10), grass, herb and fruit (v.12), sun, moon and stars (vs 16-18), whales and winged fowl (v 21), beast and cattle (v 24-25). It is notable that man, the last and only thing created in God’s own image, was described “as very good” (Gen 1:31). Additionally, man was given dominion over all other creatures.
One of the most important reasons we must give gratitude to God for His goodness is because it is the bedrock of our salvation for Apostle Paul, the writer of the book of Romans pointed out that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Additionally, God’s goodness is inexhaustible for it is “abundant” (Exo 34:6) and “endureth continually” (Pas. 52:1). While God’s goodness is abundant and inexhaustible, sinners can only benefit from it if they take advantage of it by confessing (while still alive) their sins, repenting, and asking Jesus Christ to forgive those sins and be the Lord of their lives. Anyone who receives Jesus Christ in this way will receive salvation because of the goodness of God in keeping His promises (John 1:12; John 3:16; Rom. 10:8-9; Rom. 3:23). On the other hand, anyone who dies in his/her sins without accepting Jesus Christ his/her Lord and Savior can no longer enjoy the goodness of God that leads to repentance. People that die without believing and receiving Jesus Christ into their life will be judged and condemned to eternal death/ second death (John 6:23a; Heb 9:27; Rev 21:8).