I come from South Africa; we are a unique bunch with our fair share of problems as any country would have. But, my biography is for another day…
In writing this article, I am speaking to myself as much as to the Body of Christ, my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I have a question that I would like to ask; it has been rattling around in my head for a while, and I am wondering if anyone else has asked themselves the same.
I know from speaking to other people, believers and non-believers, that we all without exception, at some time in our lives, ask God as our Heavenly Father or Supreme Being as it were, depending on stance, for help with some or other situation, problem or desire that we have. Sometimes, our petitioning of God the Father reaches fever pitch. And then, God, in his infinite Grace, would answer our petition and grant our requests. For the believer, we might shoot up a quick “thanks,” and the non-believer might say “excellent,” and that would be the end of that particular request; and we all, without fail, move on to the next petition whenever that may arise…
Now, I cannot speak on behalf of the non-believer, as they probably approached God the Father in order to “cover all their bases” so to speak, when it came to their specific requests. Believe me, I have seen it happen…God truly is fair, good and loving.
We, as the Body of Christ, of course, should ONLY be looking to God for the fulfillment of our requests, as then we would be sure that all is within His will.
And here is the crux of what it is that I am wondering about, whether the following applies to my brothers and sisters in Christ as it applies to me. I have this unfortunate habit of petitioning my Father in Heaven for solutions to my problems or issues, for provision of my needs or fulfillment of my desires, as these align with His will. Sometimes His answer is in the affirmative, sometimes in the negative, and sometimes His answer would simply be silence, which indicates to me, “Not yet my child.”
In ALL of these answers, I should be giving thanks, as His will is being done, not wondering about the “why nots” or “not yets.” And I am working on it and through it; praise the Lord, he is patient.
However, the issue that I am most convicted about is giving thanks when my petitions have been answered in the affirmative. When the answer comes about, I am usually very good in immediately giving thanks and glory to the One who answered; however, and I think that we could maybe all heed this, I have this conviction that saying thank you just the once is simply not enough.
I confidently say this because I do not believe we actually realize that, as followers of Christ, it is THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA that heard, actually heeded and answered our prayers in the affirmative. Not our earthly father or mother, not our boss, our wife or whoever we would look to here on earth, but THE ONE AND ONLY GOD, the GOD that holds the universe in His hands, that has named the stars… That in and of itself is amazing, considering our sin nature.
Give thanks to Jesus; He is also the only one worthy of holding the scars of sacrifice in His hands, Amen… Also, have we ever considered the sheer logistics required for our Father to have answered our prayers? Yes, He is omnipotent, and no, nothing, absolutely nothing, is impossible for Him; but His answers must necessarily not cause conflict with His perfect will, nor cause conflict in other peoples’ lives, their desires and their prayers.
Thinking about this bends my mind, and I have to lie down…the sheer scale that must be involved in putting the puzzle pieces together to answer our prayers is awesome…and this is what we must realize and appreciate. Our Father, literally, moves heaven and earth to answer our prayers…wait, what? The Ancient of Days actually does that, for me, for us? Mind blown…
Therefore, I have been trying to make a point of repeatedly ruminating on times that our Father in Heaven has answered my prayers, in any way shape or form. Perhaps it would be a positive thing for us all, spiritually, as the body of Christ if we took time out from our daily grind to bring into remembrance all the times that we were heard from the Throne Room of Heaven.
Were the Israelites not commanded to do this during their feasts? To bring offerings of thanks, to be merry before God? Jesus fulfilled the Law, but our Father does not change, and therefore I am betting that He would like, and quite honestly, deserves more regular thanks from us, His people, who have been bought at a great price…let us not forget what it cost God in order to GIVE us the privilege of boldly approaching His Throne of Grace through Jesus the Christ…
Our Father literally just gives and gives without growing faint and with great patience. Surely then, we could at the very least honour Him by giving thanks and blessing His Holy name, not just once or twice, but on a regular basis?
Yup, I have gone through many periods where, honestly, I just don’t feel like giving thanks. But, all glory to God, He is patient with me, and we worked on that together…that is an article for another day. In the meantime, would you please join me in making giving thanks a regular occurrence in your prayer life?
Or, is the answer to my original question, 1,000 words ago, that it is only I that should take heed of the conviction to give thanks more regularly? Everybody else has their “thanksgiving house,” for the lack of a better phrase, in order?
Only you, and of course our Father in Heaven, Holy is His name, would know…