We can naturally think of thanking God when He has blessed us in some way, but what about thanking Him when we are faced with a great need.
Jesus shows us how it’s done. Have a look at the feeding of the 5,000. Luke Chapter 9 vs 12 -17. He is faced with meeting a huge need for food with five loaves and two fishes. So He took the loaves and fish. Looked up to heaven, gave thanks and blessed them, and then gave it away till all were fed and there was food left over.
I believe we need to see that ‘thanksgiving often precedes the miracle’. When we look up to heaven and give thanks like Jesus did, we are not looking at the demand, the need or the supply, but we are lifting our gaze to heaven, and joining our heart with God’s heart, and all the resources of heaven.
The miracle happened after Jesus had told them what He wanted them to do. “Give them something to eat,” When have a need or we feel the Lord is calling us to do something beyond our abilities or resources, we can offer Him our meager resources in a situation, and give Him thanks.
Then, whether our desire is to be able to meet someone’s need, or for wisdom in a situation, or for strength to do something, for courage to act or speak, or to give beyond our means. Whatever it might be, when we offer our contribution to God with thanksgiving, we are joining our resources to His. We are partnering with heaven and we will see the miracle as we go forward.
How that must delight God’s heart, as we express our confidence in His wonderful presence with us by thanking Him. It also helps us to ‘stay in faith’ as we wait for the miracle. In Romans Chapter 4 vs 18-21 we read that Abraham grew strong in faith as He gave glory to God. I think ‘Thanksgiving’ must have been a big part of ‘growing strong’ in his faith as he awaited the miracle son he had been promised. His thanksgiving too may well have been what gave God a lot of glory.
It is important to note that this is not someway of manipulating God into doing what we want, but a way of expressing our trust in Him that He is with us, and then listening for direction in the situation. Let’s practice giving thanks “before the miracle” in the challenges of our everyday lives, and grow strong in our faith for those bigger things that will come our way. We can start so simply, ‘Dear Lord I thank you that you are with me, that you know the situation here, that you love me, that you want to demonstrate your glory here’ etc etc and as we do that faith rises and the Holy Spirit leads us in what to do or say next. Have fun!!