What if you woke up this morning with just the things you thanked God for yesterday?
November has arrived and it is at this time of year, we tend to give more thought to being grateful and thankful for what we do have, rather than what we don’t. Recently a friend told a story that left me really thinking about what I am thankful for each day. He and his wife were watching the World Series Baseball game when suddenly his wife began to laugh. She was dividing her thoughts between the game and a catalog. He asked her what she was laughing about and she said, ”Here is a plaque that we ought to have around here for reflection.” It read, ”What if you woke up this morning with just the things you thanked God for yesterday?” This funny little storyÂ made me stop and think about what I had prayed about and what I would be left with; if that is all I have the next day. What would your answer be? Would you be left with what you had the day before?
Thanking God seems like such a simple thing to do that it is often neglected in the small areas of our life. As I thought about my own thankfulness, I felt led to write a series on being thankful, and the areas that we should focus on; for all that God grants us. Thankful Thursdays is the result of this prompting and so each week it will be my intention to send out a weekly thankful thought on Thursdays.
I ask that you pray along with me, as we learn and thank God together for all that we hold in our realm. The next five Thursdays will look to Hebrews 12:28 as we study and learn, 5 Ways to be Thankful. Today is the first inaugural Thankful Thursday, please fully consider joining in discussion about the things you are grateful and thankful for.
Love in Christ,
5 Ways to Be Thankful ”“ Thanking God for Answered Prayers
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. Hebrews 12:28 (NLT)
Has God Answered Your Prayers?
This Thankful Thursday begins one of five writings on ways to be thankful, using Hebrews 12:28 as the central verse. Today, we look to being thankful to God, for answered prayers. We are often quick to throw up a prayer, when faced with a crisis, but exactlyÂ how thankful are we?
Two men were walking through a field one day, when they spotted an enraged bull. They immediately ran as quickly as they could to the nearest fence. The angry bull stormed at them in hot pursuit and it was soon clear, they wouldn’t reach the fence in time to save themselves. Terrified, one of the men shouted to the other, ”Put up a prayer, James. We’re in for it!” James answered, ”I can’t. I’ve never made a public prayer in my life.” ”But you must! begged his friend. ”The bull is catching up to us.” ”All right,” panted John, I’ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table; ”˜O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.”
Sometimes things do not go as we planned and it makes it difficult to be thankful. However, we do need to be truly thankful for what we are given, not only in the way of grand and wonderfully answered prayers, but for the little ones too. The prayers of good days, food on the table, light switches that work when flipped, and faucets that run clean water when turned are too often neglected. It is easy to remember to thank God for the big things like cancer recovery or a child’s safety, but we tend to neglect to thank God for the things we take for granted every day. Do we have so much that we forget that God provides everything? How much do we take for granted?
Do we have to lose everything in order to be grateful for what we have?
The first American Thanksgiving occurred not in 1621, but some 11 years earlier, in Jamestown, Virginia. The winter of 1610 at Jamestown had taken a group of 409 settlers and reduced it down to just 60 people. The remaining survivors prayed for help, not knowing how or when it may arrive. When help came it was in the form of a ship filled with food and supplies from England. The people had a public prayer meeting to give thanks to God. They had quickly learned what it meant to be truly thankful, even for the everyday things they expected.
Maybe you have not had such a grand resurrection of events that you feel lead to praise and thank God, for all you are given, but it doesn’t make the little things, any less significant. God expects us to recognize all that we are given and give the honor and glory back to Him in our thanksgiving. Being thankful should be part of our daily worship. Click To Tweet
God often answers us before we can even call to Him. (Isaiah 65:24) Many times He answers our needs before we have fully thought out and recognized that we need help. Or perhaps we are so caught up in fixing our own problems that we don’t realize they disappeared and we had nothing to do with it. These are the coincidences and blessing of life that just become part of unexpected occurrences. They are no less significant, deserving no less praise and thanksgiving, than the answered miracles of life. Being thankful that God hears us even when we do not hear ourselves, should be part of our daily worship and honor.(John 11:41)
So what would you have left today, if you had just the things you thanked God for yesterday? This Thankful Thursday and the rest of the days of the week, reflect about the answered prayers in your life, even the ones you may not have even asked for, and then take the time to praise God for what you do have.
Love in Christ,
What are you thankful for? How has God answered your spoken and unspoken prayers? Join us in discussion.