October 10 I Monday
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” —1 Thessalonians 5:18
Some of us may have an understanding that Jesus performed miracles to prove His deity. Yet when we survey Scripture, we find ordinary people performing miracles, such as Moses parting the Red Sea, Elijah raising the widow’s son from the dead and Peter healing the crippled man. Miracles are not evidences of Jesus’s deity because Moses, Elijah and Peter each performed miracles and they were not God. Like Christ, the only way they could perform these miracles was out of trust in and dependence on God.
When Jesus was told that His friend, Lazarus, was sick, He arrived in Bethany after Lazarus had already been dead four days. Before Lazarus’s tomb, as Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away, He prayed, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me...” (John 11:41-42). Afterwards, He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” and Lazarus came out. What a miracle! Jesus trusted in God’s sufficiency, and a dead man came back to life!
Another time, when Jesus and His disciples were in a town called Bethsaida, a great crowd of about 5,000 men were following them because of the signs and healing He performed. When it came time to eat, they only had five loaves of bread and two fish, which was certainly not enough to feed the crowd. Yet, after “taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people” (Luke 9:16). The significance of this event is that some people returned the next day to “the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks” (John 6:23). Scripture did not say that they returned to the place where Jesus performed the miracle but to the place where Jesus had “given thanks.”
The key similarity between Jesus raising Lazarus from death and feeding the five thousand is that He gave thanks to God. In the same way, our faith should not be like a beggar pleading, “please God, please,” but it should come from a heart of gratitude, acknowledging God is at work. We ought to give thanks in all circumstances, because giving thanks is recognizing our dependence on God. Though God may not perform miracles through us as He did through Jesus, we can all seek to adopt the same attitude as Christ, having a heart of thanksgiving and trusting that God is working His good on our behalf.
Prayer: Lord God, I am grateful for all that You have done in my life. Grow in me a heart of thanksgiving that acknowledges Your work in my life. Thank You, Lord.