When Should We Say Thank You?

Thank You
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There is a story in the Bible about ten lepers who came to Jesus asking to be healed ( Luke 17:11-19).  The story says that Jesus responded to them by telling them to go to the priests and show them that they were healed. But they weren’t healed yet. The healing happened as they were on the way to see the priest. It required faith to believe they were healed.

The story continues with one of the ten returning to Jesus overjoyed with his healing, falling at Jesus’ feet in thanksgiving.  Jesus told the man that his faith has made him well. Only one man recognized that it was because of Jesus that he was made well and only one man returned to give thanks. What of the others?

I think the others were glad to be healed, but perhaps they were so distracted by the new possibilities for their lives that they simply forgot to say thank you.

Have you ever been praying for something , received what you asked for and become so excited about the new things ahead that you simply forgot to go back and give thanks? It probably happens more often than we would like to admit.

We have much to be thankful for every day. The answer to the question, “When should we say thank you?” is – always. In every circumstance. Even for those things that don’t necessarily look like they are good things. Those ten lepers had to step out in faith and go to the priest before they had even begun to see the healing of their bodies. They continued on because they believed that the future could be better than their past. And that was a good thing, but they forgot something very important. They forgot to say thank you.

C. S. Lewis put it well when he said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” The scriptures confirm this over and over. Our job is to believe it and then fall at the feet of Jesus and thank him for this promise.

Job 8:7 And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great. (ESV)

1Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(ESV)

What can you thank Him for today?

My Times Are In Your Hand

Have you ever been on an airplane and fallen asleep in one state or country and woke in another? Or maybe you got caught up in the book you were reading and the next thing you know you are preparing to land.

My husband and I take long road trips to see our grandchildren. Eleven hours in the car. When we leave, I think about what a long day it will be and wonder how I’ll endure it and then before I know it, we’re there and the trip is behind us.

Life is like that in many ways. Whether we’re waiting for the birth of a child, a wedding date, or retirement, we look at the months and weeks of waiting and wonder how we’ll be able to make it.

It’s even more difficult when the waiting involves treatment for illness, or some other life-altering event that we would rather avoid all together.  Many of us suffer with chronic pain or difficult family circumstances that we just can’t change. Our only hope is to know that nothing lasts forever. Eventually we’ll come to the end of whatever it is.

Perhaps the end will be that the happily awaited event has arrived like a birth or wedding. Perhaps the joy will be that we have endured and the worst is over. Or maybe we won’t see the end until we’re standing in God’s presence. Whatever the case, we will arrive at a point where we are thankful that we have made it to the end.

We don’t have to wonder how we made it through. We can be assured that it was because the Father was guiding us and holding onto us all the way. He made the rough roads smooth. He helped us take each step and endure each difficulty along the way.

Thank Him today for His faithfulness. For how He has seen you through in the past and how He will do so in the future. He is ever faithful.

Psalm 30:4-6 Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 31:14-15  But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God. My times are in Your hand.”

Tell the Story

Everyone enjoys a good story. We especially love to hear stories with happy endings. We want good things to happen to good people. We want to hear how making that critical decision changed a life.

Some stories don’t start out so good. People may make some bad choices and struggle with consequences of their actions. The Bible is full of such stories. They don’t always have a happy ending but they DO provide encouragement and instruction to us concerning how we live.

Have you ever considered that you have a story? If you are a Christ follower, you have a story with a happy ending. Your story has the potential to help change someone else’s life.

But not if you keep it to yourself. In order for your story to have impact, you have to tell it. You have to share where you’ve been and where you’re going. Others cannot be encouraged by the lessons you’ve learned if they never hear about them.

Jesus said that we should tell others what has been done for us.

Luke 8:39 “Return to your house and describe what great things God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

Tell your story! Others are waiting to be encouraged by the unique story that God has given you.

Psalm 66:16 Come and hear, all who fear God, And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.