The 3rd graders all sat at their desks each relieved that they had taken their turn. There was only one child left, Alan. “Alan, it’s your turn to read your paper to the class,” said his teacher.
Alan boldly walked to stand beside the teacher’s desk. “Ahem,” Alan cleared his throat, looked straight at his classmates and announced, “My paper is called, My Dad Harold.” “That’s his name,” he added with a shrug. Confidently, Alan read, “My Dad Harold is strong. He can do anything. He taught me to ride a bike and patched me up when I fell. He takes me for ice cream. He loves me even when I am bad. I love him too.”
With a big smile, his teacher looked at Alan, “Thank you Alan.” Turning she spoke to the class, “You all did a great job! I know your fathers are going to love your stories. Now class, please place your papers in their envelopes and on Father’s Day, give them to your father.”
On Father’s Day Alan proudly handed his father the envelope. His father’s eyes teared up as he read the contents. Smiling, he drew Alan into his arms and gave him a big bear hug. With his voice filled with emotion, he said, “Thank you son. You are such a blessing to me. I love you so much.” “Aww, Dad, replied Alan, I know I sometimes whine and disobey you but I love you. You are a good dad.” After his father had reigned in his emotions, he held Alan at arm’s length and looked him in the eye, “Well, on that note, said his father, let’s go get ice cream!”
Isn’t it a blessing when someone thanks us and shows us they care? God blesses us all the time, but how often do we bless God?
God has everything! So, how in the world do we bless God?
Just like Alan’s dad was blessed by his words, God is blessed by our words.
Psalm 103:1 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!”
In Psalms, the Hebrew word for bless is “barak.” Translated “barak” means “praise, thank.”1 So, when we speak praise and thanks to God, we are blessing Him.
In Luke 2:25-30, Simeon had received a promise from God that he would see the Messiah before he died. While in the temple, Simeon saw the child Jesus;
“He, (Simeon), took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation,” Luke 2: 28-30.
Simeon spoke blessings to God when he thanked God for fulfilling His promise.
We often ask God to bless us, but how often do we bless God?
Don’t we all complain to our Father God sometimes?
Alan admitted he sometimes would whine and disobey. Don’t we all at least occasionally whine and disobey God as well? None of us is perfect so we all fall into the complaining and disobedient category at least once in a while. In fact, I would venture to guess the majority of us may complain more than we realize as we bring God a list of our problems. That’s not to say we shouldn’t talk with God about our problems, but there is a way to do it without complaining.
How do we do that?
By following the instructions in the scripture, even when we need to bring our needs to God, we can still bless Him:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, Philippians 4:6.
What?? With thanksgiving???
As we give our problems to God, we bless Him by thanking Him.
Thanking God first? But our prayers would not have been answered yet!
Thanking God before we see an answer is an act of faith. We are telling Him that we love and trust Him enough to believe He will answer in His time, in His way.
When we do that, God even blesses us back. Reread Philippians 4:6 above, then read the verse below to see the blessing we receive for thanking God.
Philippians 4:7, And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Imagine what our lives would be like if we changed our complaining habits?
Imagine how it would be if the majority of the time, we blessed and thanked God instead of complaining?
Just picture the smile we would put on God’s face when we say, “Thank you! I love You! You are a good Dad!” Imagine the peace we would receive in return.
On Father’s Day, we will show our appreciation and love to our earthly father.
Doesn’t it seem appropriate to show our appreciation and love to our perfect Heavenly Father too?
Let’s all put a smile on God’s face and bless Him even in the midst of adversity and the result for us will be His loving gift of peace.
Is there something you can bring to the Lord and in faith thank Him for the answer?
Heavenly Father, as I write Philippians 4:6, remind me to bring my requests to you with thanks. In faith, help me to thank you for answers even before I see them.
IN FAITH, WE THANK GOD EVEN BEFORE WE SEE AN ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS
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May your day be filled with love and laughter!
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Dog photo by Camylla Battani, unsplash
Bird photo by Amy Allworth, pixabay
Child & bear photo stock, pixabay
1 Strong’s Hebrew Concordance #1288