Topic: Ephesians 5:20
"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20
What did Jesus do when He faced a problem? Such as having 5,000 hungry people in the wilderness with only five small barley loaves and two small fish at His disposal? Jesus took one small loaf, broke it in half, lifted it up to heaven, and gave thanks.
Another time, Jesus was confronted with the death of his dear friend, Lazarus. Standing at the burial tomb, the sound of wailing in the air, the accusations of the sisters in his ears --what did Jesus do? He raised his eyes to heaven and simply said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me..." When confronted with a problem, Jesus gave thanks. Interesting, isn't it? We usually say please.
The language of faith is not please, but thank you. Please is a beggar's language. It denotes, I'm not quite sure that God will do anything. Maybe if I pray louder, longer, and with more sincerity, He will do it. So the onus is on me--on doing it right. When we give thanks, the onus is on God: we expect Him to look after the problem.
Notice, we are not told to feel thankful; that would be unrealistic. It wouldn't even make sense. Some things are downright evil, and God hates evil. We are instructed to give thanks. That's something we can do even if we don't feel thankful. It's a decision we make.
It's okay to pray like this: "God, I don't like what's happened. It doesn't make any sense to me. But I thank you that You know what this is all about and You will work even this into Your good purpose for my life."
When we give thanks to God in every situation, change happens. Perhaps the greatest change is inside of us.
We begin to notice our blessings--even the small ones. Hope flourishes. Perspective sharpens. We can see more clearly what's truly important--what needs to be done. We give God an opportunity to work His miracles within us and outside of us.
Father, thank you that no matter what's happening, you're still in control. Thank you that you always have my best interest at heart.
What problems are you facing?