Thanksgiving Should Always Precede Receiving!
Scripture Reference Philippians 4 : 4-7
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It is imperative that we see the connection between prayer and rejoicing in the Lord. These are not separate autonomous issues, they are interdependent. Without prayer we will find ourselves far too weighed down with “everything” to be able to rejoice and without rejoicing prayer will seem burdensome, a constant grocery list of requests to God.
We are in a relationship with the Lord not just for what He can give to us, we too play a role in giving to God! We are to bring a sacrifice of praise into the House of the Lord! The psalmist said in Psalm 42: 5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God”, see also Psalm 43:5.
We need to remind ourselves when all is bad that there are still reasons to rejoice! We can still praise the Lord even when trouble abounds! Paul encourages us to always rejoice! To always pray and petition the Lord! And to always give thanks to God in our prayers!
Some might say, “I’m waiting to see what God does before thanking God”. But where is the faith in that? Sure that is how the world operates but that is not how we the redeemed ought to operate. Faith is not, “I’ll wait and see and then I’ll give thanks”. Faith starts out before you know how things will turn out, Heb. 11:1!
This is why in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus counselled Christians to start, not with petitions but with an acknowledgement of who God is, “Our Father in Heaven”! And then quickly following this acknowledgment we pray, “Hallowed by Thy Name”! Acknowledgment leads to praise! God is your Heavenly Father and therefore you have every reason to say, “I lack nothing” psalm 23:1!
No Christian ever comes to God desperate! When we do so we have forgotten who we are and more importantly to whom we belong! Paul did not write, “My God will come close to meeting most of your needs according to whether you measure up”! No, Paul wrote “And my God will meet all of your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”, Phil. 4:19!!!
I think we too often forget this truth! We, like the people of Israel make the mistake of questioning whether God will provide too often, when instead we ought to thank God in advance for His provisions!
Therefore, thank God as you pray! Exercise your faith by thanking God as you make your requests, not with the thought that God will do what you have asked Him, but in faith believing that God will always do what is best! Every time!