The difference between gratitude and thankfulness is direction. Both have to do with appreciating, but one is a feeling while the other is an expression. I’m grateful for the good things in my life. That is an attitude that reflects my pleasure with what I have and am experiencing. Being thankful is a confession and requires a person to connect, to that for which I am thankful. In other words there is someone on the other side of my expression of thanks.
Being grateful for my wife is an attitude. Being thankful is an expression of that attitude. I may be grateful for something she has done, but I am not thankful until I express my gratitude to her.
The same goes for God. I am grateful for the blessings of my life, but I am not thankful until I express my gratitude to Him.
“Oh, He knows how much I appreciate Him.” Yeah, but the Bible never said to appreciate God but to be thankful. And any gratitude we have must be expressed to be thanks.
Praise is an outer expression of our inward devotion. Thanks works in the same way. Gratitude is the inward feeling. Thankfulness is the outward expression.
Give thanks with a grateful heart to the God who does all things well.