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5 Women in the Bible Who Showed Gratitude to the Lord

Published: Nov 21, 2022
5 Women in the Bible Who Showed Gratitude to the Lord Plus

Lately, I’ve had this overwhelming sense of gratitude for what the Lord has done in my life. The kind of gratitude that causes tears to flow and makes me want to drop to my knees on my living room floor and thank him for the grace I know I don’t deserve.

Maybe it's because we’re in the season of thanksgiving. Throughout the month, I see post after post reminding me to be thankful. Topics like “30 Days of Gratitude” and “Today I’m Thankful for…” help reset my heart and mind where they need to be. But this year has brought a deep longing for more ways to express my thankfulness.

Photo Credit: ©Getty/SARINYAPINNGAM

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More Ways to Show Gratitude

I try to make a habit of thanking the Lord each morning in prayer, but life sometimes gets in the way, and daily prayer time gets pushed aside. So, missing out on prayer time means I’m neglecting to show gratitude.

Psalm 136:1 says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever” (NIV). Gratitude has a profound effect on our attitudes—an effect that overflows to those around us. Pausing to thank God keeps our minds focused on him and his goodness. 

True gratitude can be life-changing, so why do I struggle to fit it into my everyday life? And how can I express it from the heart? The stories of five bold women in Scripture have inspired me to find new creative ways to tell God, “Thank you.” As we read about these women, we will see that gratitude, however we express it, grows deeper and stronger the more we practice it. 

Let’s look at these faithful women in the Bible who showed gratitude to the Lord in unique ways:

1. Hannah Worshiped and Prayed

“Then Hannah prayed and said: ‘My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.” (1 Samuel 2:1 NIV)

Hannah wanted a child more than anything. Her husband, Elkanah tried to console her by showering her with love. He even gave Hannah a double portion of food during their family meals. However, nothing would satisfy the emptiness Hannah felt.

One day, Hannah poured out her hurts to God in prayer. So much that Eli the priest thought she’d been drinking. When Hannah explained her request to Eli, he answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:17). Soon, Hannah conceived and had the son she’d dreamed of.

Hannah had every reason to be thankful. God answered her prayer! Yet, in her time of joy, she also made a heart-wrenching decision. After her son Samuel was weaned, Hannah dedicated him to God by leaving him to grow up at the temple. Then she gave God her greatest worship with the prayer in 1 Samuel 2

Like Hannah, one way we can give thanks to God is by worshiping him. Amid her difficulty as a mom, she chose to lift up the name of the Lord with these words, “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” (1 Samuel 2:2

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Joseph holding Mary, Mary holding Jesus

2. Miriam Played the Tambourine and Danced

“Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.’” (Exodus 15:20-21)

Have you ever heard your favorite worship song and instantly felt the urge to start dancing? This always happens to me in the car, while other drivers stare in confusion! I try to contain myself, but the feeling hits, and I can’t help it. I have to dance and sing.

When gratitude makes me want to jump, shout, or dance, I think about Miriam. She couldn’t contain her excitement or her thankfulness to God for saving her people. The parting of the Red Sea is one of the biggest miracles recorded in Scripture. After God made the way for the Israelites to cross on dry ground, he closed up the sea, drowning the pursuing Egyptian army.

Miriam led the other women in a dance of praise. Her love for the Lord is evident in her song, “‘The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2

Miriam’s actions teach us an important truth. When our gratitude overflows so much we can’t contain it, just dance.

3. Mary, Mother of Jesus, Sang Praises

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...” (Luke 1:46-47)

I remember sitting in the doctor’s office not long ago, hearing a shocking diagnosis. As I processed what this meant for my health and my future, I didn’t feel very thankful. In fact, instead of thanking God, I questioned him. “How could this happen?” At the time, I thought I could never be thankful for facing such a hard thing.

Maybe that’s why I can’t fathom how Mary felt as a young girl when an angel visited her. He told her she would become pregnant with God’s Son. Not only that but she wasn’t married yet. How could she possibly explain this? What would become of her? Gratitude would not have been my first response, but Mary pushed past her fears and thanked God by singing from the depths of her spirit.

Even though hardship awaited her, Mary focused on God’s blessing and how he called her for a special purpose. God brought goodness from her difficult circumstances, and he will do the same for us. Let’s push past our fears today and thank God with songs of praise, even when facing hard things.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Matteo Della Torre

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4. The Woman with the Alabaster Jar Gave an Offering

“As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” (Luke 7:38)

Everyone in the room recognized her as a woman with a questionable past. A sinful woman. They cast condescending looks as she took her jar of perfume—quite possibly her most precious possession—and poured it all out for Jesus. Onlookers were too busy judging her to see the beauty of what took place.

Have you ever felt such overwhelming gratitude for God’s forgiveness that tears flowed? And all you wanted to do was fall to your knees and offer him everything? I imagine the woman with the alabaster jar having that same desire because she’d been forgiven more than anyone in that room would ever know.

Seeing how Simon and the others responded to this woman’s actions, Jesus told a parable to illustrate the magnitude of her gift. Jesus said, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little” (Luke 7:47). When we remember where Jesus found us and the lengths he reached to rescue us, we too will want to show gratitude by offering all we have.

5. The Samaritan Woman Shared the Good News

“‘Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?’ So the people came streaming from the village to see him.” (John 4:29-30)

The day I accepted Jesus as my Savior, an unbearable weight lifted from me. I felt physically lighter. The urge to share my good news took over, but I hesitated. Will people think I’m crazy? How do I explain my newfound freedom? Fear over what others might think held me back from telling people about Jesus.

The Samaritan woman met Jesus while going about her daily tasks. She drew water at the well. And Jesus’ words no doubt surprised her. “...Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

She didn’t hesitate or let fear stop her. She ran straight back to town and told whoever would listen.

Revelation 12:11 reveals the power of sharing our God stories: “And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony….” Telling people what Jesus did for us defeats the enemy! Let’s follow the Samaritan woman’s lead today and take every opportunity to thank God by telling others about him.

Where would we be without Jesus’ forgiveness, love, mercy, and grace? We have endless reasons to be thankful, and there are countless ways to express it. November may remind us of the importance of gratitude, but let’s make showering God with our thanks a daily practice. Not just this month but all through the year.

For more spiritual growth resources, check out the 5-day email study Walking with Rahab by today’s devotion writer, Kristine Brown. You’ll find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, Kristine is the author of the book, Cinched: Living with Unwavering Trust in an Unfailing Godand the companion workbook.

Originally published Monday, 21 November 2022.