Thank you Lord!

So often in our lives we are caught up in the everyday cares of life (even right now I am thinking about how hungry I am and what I am going to eat). We have work, school, children, spouses and other concerns and difficulties. Though these things are a reality, we cannot get so caught up in them that we forget to stop and say…thank you.

The Lord is so good to us all, even when we do not realize it. Lamentations 3:22 tells us, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,  for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” This means that even waking up another day–regardless of where you may wake up–is a blessing, and that we should rejoice in the day that the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24). Even reading this right now you are experiencing something to be grateful for: the renewing and never ending compassion, grace and mercy of God.

Though we experience trials, tribulations and seemingly insurmountable circumstances, our command is still to be grateful. This is clearly expressed in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, stating, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” One thing of note is the fact that the scripture says “all circumstances.” Trust me, God knows better than anyone–even you–what you are going through; after all, he is the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). Because God knows your beginning and your end, he has already accounted for your situation and is with you as you transition through it, all the more reason to be grateful.

Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Not only are we to be prayerful regarding our “every situation” but these requests must me made in thanksgiving! Well, how does one make a request in thanksgiving? Easy. Thanksgiving is state of mind and a condition of the heart. It makes sense, then, that the Lord would say “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10).

A great example of making a request to God in thanksgiving is Jesus’ encounter with the 5,000. With only two fish and five barley loaves, Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted, doing the same with the fish (John 6:11). There is something very significant about this text. Consider for a moment that there were actually 5,000 men (not including women and children) before Jesus and his disciples who all had a need. The disciples response was quite normal, it would have literally taken a fortune to feed all of those people–under normal circumstances. Jesus simply took the little that he had, gave thanks for it and it became more than enough, as there were 12 baskets of leftovers after everyone was full! This lets me know that an attitude of gratitude is fertile ground for God to perform a miracle.

Take, for instance, Jesus’ visit to his hometown in Matthew 13:53-58. Though the people of Nazareth were amazed, they did nothing but question Jesus to the point where they took offense to him. The last part of this passage states that “he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” Until today, I did not realize what this  passage actually meant. To some, this passage means that Jesus is dependent on faith to perform a miracle. However, when viewing faith as saying, “I am grateful for God hearing and answering my prayer,” it means that God is unwilling to do something for someone who is ungrateful.

Because of their ungratefulness, the people of Nazareth did not experience the fullness of God’s miracle working power. Someone once told me “the worst thing that you can be is ungrateful,” and I agree. So I encourage you to truly be grateful in all circumstances, and remember, “according to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). In other words, according to how grateful you are that God has heard and answered your request, let it be done unto you.

Be grateful.

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~ by christianballenger on May 10, 2011.

One Response to “Thank you Lord!”

  1. You compose wonderful blogs. I have certainly bookmarked this website. God bless you.

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