Lessons from the thanksgiving life of Jesus Christ
39 Jesus said “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Matthew 15: 16-21
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18″Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
It is said that people’s secrets are in their story. So for us to learn lessons from the thanksgiving life of Jesus, we need to read His story and study his lifestyle.
In above scriptures Jesus was faced with two apparent impossible situations, the death of Lazarus his friend and the hungry members of his ministry. On each occasion, he did not succumb to pressure. He did not question the faithfulness or will of God. He did not allow the situation to blur His understanding of the nature of God. Rather He proved His total trust in the nature and will of God by giving thanks to God. He did not give thanks for the problem he gave thanks in each situation because he knew that the problem will not change God but God will change the situation. Some people allow problem to dictate their mood and disposition. This is because they focus on the problem and forget the faithfulness of God. They have not differentiated between the nature of God and the nature of problems. Jesus in the above scriptures taught us to keep our eyes on the nature of God and his goodness regardless of the nature of the problem. So adopt the attitude of thanksgiving to God first for who He is and then second for what he can do or has done and you will never lack divine manifestation and intervention. Our primary responsibility in thanksgiving is to the person of God and it is the person of God that solidifies our expectations in the darkest hour.
This is opposite to the pattern of thanksgiving we are used to. We are brought up to thank people after they have helped us or done something for us. But in each case, Jesus gave thanks to God prior to the manifestation of the result. He gave thanks to God out of His trust in the nature/person of God. When we have a good understating of the person of God we will not wait to see the manifestation of things before we thank Him, we will thank because we know he his faithful and he always keeps his word. This kind of thanks giving is more rewarding and puts you in a higher platform of receiving. Jesus said blessed are they that believe without seeing. So when do you intend to begin to give thanks to God? I suggest you start now.
For further study:
Matthew 15: 16-21
Personal declaration for the day:
I give thanks to God for He is good and His mercies endures forever
Questions or you to reflect on:
When do you normally thank God in the day, at the start or at the end or both?