Thanksgiving in Advance

“The time is coming when the true worshippers
will worship the Father in spirit and truth,
and that time is here already.
You see, the Father too is actively seeking
such people to worship him.
God is spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:23-24

Yesterday, as I was driving to church to complete a few last minutes work items, I started to thank God for things that I haven’t yet received. It seemed like such an odd concept to thank him for prayers that hadn’t yet appeared to be answered, yet isn’t that a part of faith? Hebrews 11:1-2 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

At a recent Women of Faith Conference I attended in Des Moines, one of the speakers, Thelma Wells, mentioned how her family was reminded this past year that after a time of prayer and fasting, they were to start celebrating and thanking God for answering their requests, even if they had not yet seen God’s affirmative response. Sometimes that seems so hard, yet there is an element of hope that reveals itself in our thankfulness.

Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” verse 5 “For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

I’ve seen God answer thanked prayers before in my life. When I was an intern at a church in Northwest Iowa we were experiencing an abnormally dry summer. One Saturday night at the evening contemporary service, I carried in my umbrella and brought it to the front of the church for our time of prayer. We asked God for rain and thanked him for the rain that would fall that night. As we walked out of the service, without any clouds in the sky, it began to sprinkle.

Yes, there are times when God does not answer our prayers in the affirmative, I have experienced those times too. My aunt is no longer with us, she passed away several years ago leaving two elementary age children and my uncle to miss her presence and daily love. But, at the same time that can’t stop us from thanking God for answered prayers. My aunt is healed today and far more healthier than she ever was, or any of us ever are on this earth.

Paul commands I Ephesians 5: 19-20 “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

King David, at one point when his life was threatened said, “I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:1-3)

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the goof of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Philippinas 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Genesis 50:19-21 “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.”

Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”

1 Timothy 6:17 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

Revelation 7:11-12 “All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.


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