"O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
The expression "thankful prayer" may sound strange. Prayer and thankfulness, however, always go together, not only because answered prayer requires thankfulness, but because we must acknowledge God's mercy toward unworthy sinners........whether or not we can point to answered prayers, we owe God thankfulness. Every day we receive much for which we didn't even ask. Even if we cannot point to any specific answers to prayer, we have reason to acknowledge the Lord for everything we are and have.
The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" Here we are reminded that there is more than enough to be thankful for. If we would only recognize that everything we receive more than death is grace. ..........The goodness of the Lord ought to break and humble us, and turn us to Him.......thankfulness begins with a broken and contrite heart.
True thankfulness begins by recognizing our weakness. It ends in praising God, glorifying His Name, and praising His attributes in love. A mark of true thankfulness is that we love the giver more than the gifts. When God's creatures return to Him, there in His presence His goodness is experienced.
If we possess this love we always have something to be thankful for. If we are poor, we can be thankful for health. If we are sick, we can be thankful for the care we receive. If we have a cross, we can be thankful for what we still have.
"In everything give thanks." In everything? Yes, in everything - even in adversity. How is that possible? Paul understood this seeming impossibility when he was in prison with Silas and had his feet bound in stocks and his back cut open by the lashes he had received. He sang praises to God in the night. Paul knew that it is better to have adversity with God's presence, than prosperity without God's presence.
The deepest trials often produce the greatest gratitude. The soul knows that these are God's personal dealings with him and that in this way gold is purified......there is a reason for thankfulness, despite the pain of the pruning knife. When Jacob said, "All these things are against me," he should have said, "All these things are for me," because God was at work taking care of him. Blessed are they who believe without seeing. They shall glorify God, even though they don't know what the outcome will be.
~ Frans Bakker
Sharing with Thankful Thursday.