Devotional 21st November 2019
‘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?”Luke 17:11 – 19
In our last devotional our focus was on remembrance. Today we are looking at thankfulness as this follows hard on the heels of remembering.
Thankfulness, what is it?
It’s expressing gratitude and appreciation for someone, thanks for the way they’ve given help, for their hard work, for their care, their acts, their words; it’s attributing good motives to someone, affirming them and assuring them that you are aware of all they have done. It’s having a warm positive attitude that chooses to focus on the good rather than only seeing the bad. It is a manifestation of our faith when things we are praying for sometimes take a while to come to pass. Being thankful enables us to keep trusting and believing in God’s goodness and faithfulness.
In this passage from Luke 17 the story is told of ten men who suffered from leprosy. They saw Jesus as He was passing and called out to Him from a distance. They couldn’t come close because of their condition but they still made their need known. They were desperate to be healed and for their lives to be different. They cried out to Him and He answered as He always does. But the nature of His reply may have been different to what they were expecting? Were they hoping He would call them up and lay hands on them as they’d seen Him do with others? He just said ‘Go and show yourselves to the priest.’ Did that make them feel disgruntled, that they weren’t getting the ‘full package'? I can feel that sometimes if I hear other Christians talking about wonderful experiences they’ve had with the Lord and I know I’ve never experienced Him in that way myself. I can get self pitying….Maybe that was what happened to most of those lepers but the fact is, as they followed what Jesus told them, they were all healed, not just one. Each one of them saw their skin miraculously cleansed and restored as they walked along. How amazing and beautiful.
Yet only one of those ten returned to thank Jesus.
Only one had a heart full of praise.
I’m sure the others were glad, even overjoyed, yet it is possible even as Christians to be overjoyed but still not give thanks to God.
Jesus was grieved that only one thought to return and thank Him. It wasn’t that He was desperate for praise and affirmation but that He knew the power of thanksgiving to draw their hearts up to God, and root their faith and thus to influence the very atmosphere with God’s goodness and hope.
I would hate to think I was grieving Jesus by not being thankful, but I am sure that sometimes I do.
I want to choose to be more and more like that one who came back to give thanks. I want to be someone whose thankful spirit creates a buzz of warmth, well being, hope, renewed purpose, and even new vision in those around me.
Let’s be thankful.
Lord Jesus please instill in our hearts the ability to be thankful even when our circumstances are hard. Give us hearts to be aware of how you are always working on our behalf. Empower us to change the very atmosphere with our thanks and praise rather than with our negativity.
Thank you that you are always here to help us and will give us all we need.
We love you and thank you, amen.
So thank you for taking the time to read this!