Added: Jai Ferron - Date: 03.05.2022 00:07 - Views: 37031 - Clicks: 4768
I thank you , Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the educated and intelligent and have revealed them to the simple. Yes indeed, Father, for so it was well-pleasing to you. What is more, God the Lord also acts as the Director of the course of history. Only the Lord possesses absolute power, unquestionable authority, and complete sovereignty over his created order. Hidden : This word means to conceal, cover up, or otherwise keep something secret. This concealment was necessary because, if God were to fully reveal himself, humanity would be consumed by his holiness and magnificence.
Revealed: The opposite of hidden , this word literally means to take the cover off. Again going back to Hebrew thought, God has complete freedom in what he chooses to reveal to or to conceal from those whom he has created. It was a cold winter evening, and we were eating an early supper. Look at the sunset! Through the barren tree limbs, we saw rows of puffy, light clouds stretched out along the skyline. The setting sun had cast a golden glow all across the clouds, and their magnificence was breathtaking.
Then, as the sun moved, the color deepened and the clouds turned burnt orange, streaked in places with a brilliant crimson. He finally tore his gaze from the scene for a moment and glanced at the rest of us, a look of pure joy on his little face. Turning back to the sunset, he suddenly burst into a wild applause. You are awed, and you want to cry out with joy and thanksgiving. It happened to Jesus. Jesus was there in Galilee going about his daily tasks, when he was suddenly overawed by the reality of what God was doing around him. However, there is one way that these two passages differ tremendously: the setting into which each writer places this prayer.
What had Jesus and his followers been doing in each Gospel? These settings are so different! Jesus has sent out the Seventy and, although he scolds the same three towns, the Seventy return having had great success. Jesus himself sees Satan fall, and the names of the Seventy are written in heaven. Now this is a time to give thanks and praise to God! Matthew sees failure, Luke sees success, yet both see Jesus giving thanks. What does this mean? Jesus does not see failure or success the way we see them because Jesus has a different focus.
Although Jesus relates to God as relates to his daddy, Jesus never forgets that his Daddy is also Lord of heaven and earth. And Jesus knows this better than anyone. So when Jesus prays this prayer of thanksgiving, he looks around and he does not see many things. He does not see the work of John the Baptist. He does not see what the Seventy have accomplished. He does not even see what he himself has done. Jesus does not see human failure or human success. Instead, he looks around and he sees what God is doing.
God is turning human wisdom, human pride, and human understanding upside down and inside out. God is lifting up the humble and humbling the high and mighty. Jesus can see it — his Daddy, the Lord, at work — and he cries out in thanksgiving and praise. That did not seem very hard, so I set off for my solitary place, determined to pray a God-centered prayer of thanksgiving. So I went back to my place and tried thanking God for the things in my life that were apparent failure-turned-success stories: I thanked God for an illness that had forged a closer relationship between family members, for a failure at work that had motivated me to a greater success, for a hardship that had led to spiritual growth.
Something seemed amiss. There was something more here that my Master wanted me to grasp, but what was it? First of all, I had gone off to a solitary place with a predetermined notion to pray a prayer of thanksgiving.
Jesus, on the other hand, was going about his daily work, surrounded by his followers and other bystanders. And it was not a private prayer; it was spoken aloud for all the crowd to hear. It challenged me to carry my relationship with my Master out of that field and into the midst of my daily comings and goings. Instead of looking around me and seeing what the crowd was doing, I needed to look around me and focus on what God was doing.
After all, how could I give thanks for something if I could not see it? As it turned out, this was the biggest stumbling block in my study of this prayer. Because most of the time, I could not see what God was doing. For example, I would look at a situation: a friend diagnosed with cancer.
I could not cry out with praise and thanksgiving; I could only cringe in agony and fear. So I needed to shift my focus. I needed to be able to see God, the Lord of heaven and earth, at work. But how could I do that? Well first of all, it is quite obvious that I cannot see what God is doing if I do not know God, if I do not have a personal relationship with my Master.
Secondly and just as obvious, I found that I cannot see what God is doing if I will not take the time to look ; I cannot hear what God is saying if I will not be still long enough to listen. Maybe God is humbling the proud; maybe God is allowing the prodigal to suffer the consequences of her sins so she will come to her senses and return home; maybe God is patiently knocking at a door that is still bolted shut from the inside; maybe God is already supplying a strength, a hope, and a healing that I simply have not yet seen.
You know, there is always a sunset. It is the same way with God. My Master is always working — everyday in every situation. I just need to look out the window of my heart and observe his handiwork. Well if I have watched enough sunsets, I know that, even when I cannot see it, the sun is still setting.
Likewise, if I have spent enough time watching my Master work, then during those times when his activity is hidden from me, I still know, I still trust that he is at work in that situation. Even when I cannot see exactly what he is doing, I can still cry out in praise and thanksgiving simply because I know that he is there.
For you see, when my Master hides some insight from me, it challenges me to look harder and to search deeper; when my Master hides his activity from me, it prompts me to step out in faith and trust; when my Master hides his wisdom, it reveals to me how very simple — how weak, lowly, and powerless — I really am. Indeed, sometimes I am more thankful for the clouds than I am for the sunset. For whether he is covering or uncovering, it is a blessing to be able to understand that my Master is at work.
In my prayers, my thanks were given for the things God had done that brought me pleasure providing health, material blessings, success, spiritual growth. They were me-centered. I was only focused on the things that were pleasing to me. And I am sad to say it, but quite often the things that please me are not the things that are most pleasing to God. Let me give you an example. A few years ago, I felt a persistent calling to host a backyard Bible club during the summer for some children in my community.
I planned it all out in my mind. Several friends could help me, and our children would have fun learning about the Bible. I called three friends and they all agreed to help. It would be great — four talented moms, a yard full of twenty children — what a tremendous success this would be! Unfortunately, I contracted mononucleosis that spring. I pushed on with my plans, though, hoping to be well by summer. Then my friends called me, one by one, saying that they would not be able to help. The music leader had to teach summer school.
The craft leader was going back to graduate school. The snack coordinator was going to spend the summer in the mountains. I was left alone — still suffering the aftereffects of mono — and over half of the children I had invited would not be attending. Normally, I would have seen this as a disaster, a complete failure. I would have wailed and wept and gnashed my teeth in disappointment. However, that summer I did not see things that way. For some blessed, wonderful reason, God lifted the cover and allowed me to witness these events through his eyes.
Instead of bewailing my failed efforts, God enabled me to shift my focus and watch my Master at work. The big day arrived and, amazingly, I had enough energy to stand up. Several neighborhood children came. One mom I knew only casually, Tammy, saw my wobbly condition and offered to stay and help. I knew that Tammy was not a regular churchgoer and had never been part of a group like this, so I was doubly grateful when she offered to jump into the fray. Tammy became a dear friend that summer, a real angel of mercy to me. She prepared all of the snacks, led the crafts, and provided support at every turn.
I watched God move in her life, and over the years since then, I have rejoiced in her spiritual growth. She became my co-leader at every backyard Bible club, and her family has become active members in our church. God revealed to me that if my other friends had been able to help me that summer, Tammy would never have gotten involved. God was well-pleased that she did! And the children! Nine children were present that first day, a far cry from the twenty which I had envisioned.
But five of those nine were unchurched children. Today, those five attend church regularly, and one has even talked about becoming a preacher! How much pleasure does that give God! Nothing turned out the way I had planned it that summer — thanks be to God!
Through this special prayer, Jesus invites you and me to shift our focus and allow our prayers of thanksgiving to become more God-centered. In order to do this, we must be able — like Jesus — to look around us and see God at work, even when we are surrounded by dark or difficult circumstances. However, in the example set before us in this prayer, Jesus invites us to do one other thing. If we will look back at the Scripture, we will recall that this is not a private prayer.
It is a prayer spoken aloud as Jesus stands in the middle of his daily activities. Here Jesus invites us to do what he does: to pray aloud in the midst of those around us. Where people can hear me? Why do I need to do that? When my little son raised his hands and voice in praise that winter evening, he gave the rest of us a tremendous gift.
You see, we were all standing on the porch admiring a work of art. We found ourselves absorbed in a masterpiece.Jesus prayer of thanksgiving
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Thank You, Lord: 14 Prayers to Give Thanks to God