Gratitude Glorifies God

Kevin DeYoung

READ : 2 Corinthians 4:7-15

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (v. 15 ESV)

The Heidelberg Catechism is famous for its threefold outline of Christian theology: guilt, grace, and gratitude. We are guilty sinners before God. God saves us from guilt by his grace. We respond to this grace with heartfelt gratitude. You could add a fourth “G”—glory. When we respond to grace with gratitude, God gets glory.

Psalm 50:23 says, “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me” (ESV). We often think of thanksgiving as a family holiday, or something we give perfunctorily before meals, or something our mother ordered us to say when we were in a rotten mood. But being thankful goes deeper, or, I should say, it goes higher. Gratitude makes much of God because it shows both that God is the author of all that is good and that we love the giver more than the gifts.

Paul explained to the Corinthians that his difficult and personally costly ministry was for their sake, so that as more people received grace, more would be thankful, and thus more glory would go to God. What marvelous, gospel-proclaiming, God-glorifying logic! When we minister faithfully, God gets glory every step of the way.


Lord, give us grateful hearts and good attitudes, for your glory. Amen.