Thankful for Answers

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If gratitude to one another is appropriate, how much more appropriate is it when it is due God, especially when He has answered our prayers? While thankfulness doesn’t always come easily, we can train ourselves in it.

Lord, I thank you for answering me. (Psalm 118:21, NCV)

How do you feel when you’ve given someone a present and they don’t even say, “Thank you”? Or when you’ve done someone a favor and it isn’t even appreciated? You probably feel disappointed. It’s not that you wanted an accolade of gratitude; it’s simply that, well, saying thanks is just so appropriate. But if gratitude to one another is appropriate, how much more so when it is due to God, especially when He has answered our prayers? While thankfulness doesn’t always come easily, we can train ourselves in it. Here are three simple things that can help.

First, being thankful in everyday life. Thankfulness is a mindset, and we won’t be thankful to God unless it’s part of our ordinary, everyday living. Start saying “Thank you!” much more each day: to the shopkeeper, the bus driver, your child’s teacher, the canteen workers, the refuse collectors, the postman. Learn to say thank you for the little things in life, and to the people who normally never get thanked.

Second, keeping a list of answered prayers. Sometimes, we aren’t thankful to God simply because we just don’t think about the answers He has already given. It’s almost as if we take his blessings and run! We can remember all sorts of trivia, but do not recall His answers to prayer – even the “big ones.” One simple way of “not forgetting” is to write down the things God says and the answers God gives, along with the date that they happened. Because the more we remember, the more we will thank; and the more we thank, the more we will see of God’s fresh resources released from heaven.

Third, telling others what God has done for you. Why keep good things to yourself? If God has answered your prayer in some way, tell others about it, too. Not only does that glorify God, it will encourage others (if they are Christians) or stir them to think (if they aren't). Telling what God has done for us strengthens the gratitude of our heart.

Which of these three things could you do today to help you become more thankful?

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. (Psalm 107: 8)

Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont

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