How many times have we asked for new things like: the cute pair of shoes you saw on Saturday, getting your hair done, sleeping over your friends house or having them stay at your place, that really cute puppy you saw in the shop window, going to a birthday party, going to see the lastest movie etc. The list is endless. As humans we almost always want something. Cases vary, but when you get an item, are you genuinely grateful for it? Or does your mind skip to the next thing on your list that you want?
In the same way, when we ask God to help us with a maths test, or to protect a certain person in a certain situation, or to heal someone of an illness or whatever it is, do we really, truly acknowledge and be thankful that He answered our prayer? Or does it go straight over our heads?
"Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever."
- 1 Chronicles 16:34
Now, I want you to be completely, 100 percent honest with yourself. Think of something that you have asked from either God or your parents this week. Did you get what you asked for? If you did, did you say thank you for it?
Unfortunately, when we ask for something and we receive it we do say thanks, but we don't always wholeheartedly mean it. God can see our hearts so there is really no point in trying to pretend.
What about when you ask for something and the answer is "No", or you don't get it? Are you thankful then? It's hard to be thankful when we don't get what we want, that's part of our human nature. But how do we know that by not getting our own way, we have been saved from a bad situation. Imagine if you went to that party and it got out of control, there was drinking and fighting and people got hurt. Wasn't it better that your parents said no and you weren't mixed up in that kind of scene. And when God seems to say "No" to something that we have asked for, it is most likely because that is NOT what is best for us! So shouldn't we be thankful in that. God wants what is best for us - always!
Again I am going to ask you to do something. Right here, right now. Think of 3 things that you are grateful for that you usually take for granted everyday. You could be thankful for your home - that you have one. For your relationships - thank God for your friends and family, again that you have them. What ever it is, take the next few moments just to say a quick prayer, letting God know what you're thankful for today. And maybe later on you might want to thank your parents for something, or your sister or brother.
"Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!"- 1 Chronicles 16:8
Even when things are looking really tough for us, we always, always, always have something to be thankful for. Families, friends, His protection, His provision, His love, our homes, our health, food, education, but above all, we can be thankful that Jesus died on the cross for US, for me and for YOU!
This week I am particularly grateful for forgiveness. Without Jesus' death and resurrection we would have nothing, we would be condemned to death. But because Jesus died in our place, we don't have to be burdened down by our sins, because He is the burden bearer. And by God's grace we can be forgiven, and one day enter the gates of heaven.
If you're finding it hard to find something to be grateful for, switch on some Christian music. The lyrics my identify what it is you are thankful for, or maybe you will just ppreciate the music ad be thankful for that.
Personally for me, these last few weeks I have tried praying more often. But not praying for selfish things but being thankful. Instead of looking at the downside of things, look at the positive. It really does help and gives you a happy sensation. I found that by lifting up the things that I am thankful for, I keep finding more and more things to be thankful for. Maybe you could give it a try. Try to see the good out ouf a 'bad' situation.
~ Taleisha & Meggie