Saying thank you is one of the first things we teach our children. It is not only a question of good manners but in the Spirit, it is also a powerful weapon that is too often neglected.
The story is clear. Ten lepers came to Jesus to ask for healing. They all receive their healing, but one of them, a Samaritan, came back to say thank you. “And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17: 17-19 KJV). The word “whole” here, is a translation of the word “sozo” which is often translated as “salvation”. All were healed, but only one was saved. That’s the power of appreciation.
Thanking God must be a consistent practice. Every day we can thank Him for what He has done in the past. In doing so, we remember that if He did it once, He can do it again! Thanking Him helps us to keep our faith in what we have not seen yet. Instead of complaining about being single, for example, we could take the time to thank God for the bad relationships He has spared us from, or the ones He has taken us out of. We can thank Him for the lessons we learned from our past relationships, and so on. A good way to demonstrate thankfulness is by telling others what God has done. The effect is instantaneous: as soon as you begin to give a testimony, you are filled with joy and feel strengthened inside. Not to mention the hope that it brings to others.
We can thank God for the past, thank Him for all the little joys we have presently, but also thank Him for what is coming! If you believe in the promises that God has given you, and understand the faithfulness of God, you can already rejoice. Thanking Him in advance, it’s a good demonstration of your faith.
Instead of envying others, and their success, begin to thank God for blessing your brothers and sisters. Rejoice with them, knowing that what He has done for them, He will do for you too. It is the best remedy against jealousy, and it will certainly catch the attention of your Father in heaven.
Thankfulness is the antithesis of worry. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil 4:6 KJV). This verse says that we must present our needs to God with thanksgiving, that is, with gratitude. If you are already thanking Him, it means that you are not worried and that you are convinced of the answer. It is the attitude of faith that God asks of His children.
And it is also an attitude that scares the enemy. You remind him of his defeated position and your position of victory. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom 8.37 KJV). If you have chosen to live according to the ways of God, meaning that you have decided to follow the standards of God during your time of dating, the adversary will not be happy and he will try to deflect you. As Christians, we not only have to fight our flesh, but also powers of darkness who do not want to see the children of God taste the blessings of their heavenly Father. When you pray, you are clearly in the position of a winner.
Finally, when we thank God for His future response, we put this subject back in His hands. If we are already thanking him, we believe that it is already done. So, we will not be tempted to take things into our own hands. God wants us to trust Him. He asks us to participate in His work (1 Corinthians 3:9), but we must follow Him and not take the wheel! Thanking Him is to remember that He is in control.