Always Grateful

  • Dec. 26, 2018
  • #9563

Has the Lord answered your prayers this year? Be sure to show Him your gratitude by thanking Him effusively out loud.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to “Joni and Friends.”

You know, I have gotten into a really great habit — it's the habit of stopping and saying thank you to the Lord whenever I see God answering a prayer that I offered up earlier. Maybe it was lost keys that were found; or God's help for writing an article; or maybe I prayed for the success of a ‘Wheels for the World’ outreach in which many people with disabilities came to Christ. Whatever prayer gets answered, you will most often find me pausing and saying, "Lord, we don't want to be like those nine lepers who forgot to say thank you; no, we want to be that leper who came back to thank you and thank you profusely."

I am, of course, harkening to Luke chapter 17, and the story of those ten lepers who, when they saw Jesus coming, they called from a distance, asking Him to have pity on them. Picking it up in the 13th verse, it says, "When [Jesus] saw them, he said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.' And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?'”  

Now friend, this is a story we all should remember as we pray, because you and I will see God answer those prayers. And it will bless us. It will encourage us. But sometimes we just go on our merry way, very happy that the Lord has done great things and I guess we just expect God to understand our joy. We expect Him to sort of get the hint from our smile and realize that, yes, we’re grateful and in so doing, we assume that He knows we’re thankful. After all, He knows us. He knows down deep inside that we are indeed grateful, but have we stopped to actually say out loud “Thank you Jesus”? I mean actually pausing and saying out loud, like the leper who threw himself at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him (and the leper did it in a loud voice)! Friend, it’s not enough to just assume that God knows we are grateful for answered prayer. For every petition you offer up, a petition that He answers, you should stop and say out loud, “Lord, thank you for answering my prayer for helping me [oh, I don’t know] find my keys, thank you for helping me write that article; bless you that people got saved through ‘Wheels for the World’.” Do you see what I mean?

And I tell you, I am still giving thanks to God that, so far, there has been no more cancer found in my body. Because one of the best ways to deal with that disease is yes, to pray and then to thank God for every small success, every report that’s positive, every scan that’s clear. Thank God for every blood test that comes back without bad news. If you or a loved one is dealing with a chronic medical condition, I'm sure you do offer up many prayers, right? Well, as you see God answer little by little those prayers be like the one leper guy—be effusive in giving thanks to the Lord. Be certain to stop and thank Him out loud, just like that leper. By the way, I would love to hear what you’re praying about or a favorite Bible verse that you’re memorizing for the New Year. Tell me about it. Just go to my radio page at joniandfriends.org, or you can always write me at Joni and Friends, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills, CA 91376. If the Lord has answered some prayer of yours today, guess what? Stop right after we’re done here and tell Him thanks.

(Previously aired as #7998 on 12/26/12)

***At the time of the original broadcast, Joni was cancer free***

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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