The other day I was reading John chapter 6 and something hit me like a bolt of lightning. John 6:11 says, “Then Jesus took the loaves, and after He had given thanks He distributed to those who were seated—so also the fish, as much as they wanted.” Verse 23 goes on to say, “Some of the boats from Tiberias came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord gave thanks.” I noticed that the Lord gave thanks BEFORE the multiplication of the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fish. I asked the Lord why? As I waited for revelation it amazed me that I had never seen this before. His answer revealed a hidden treasure.
Did you ever consider the significance of giving thanks? Most people give thanks after they receive something. If you paid for my meal I would say, “Thank you.” If you gave me a gift I would say, “Thank you.” Most of the time we give thanks for something we have already received. However, Jesus saw things differently.
A huge crowd had come a long way to hear Jesus speak and they became hungry. Five loaves of bread and two fish were brought to the Lord. There were probably 15-20,000 men, women and children present. How was Jesus going to take so little and feed so many? He would do it by giving thanks in advance for what God was about to do through Him!
When Jesus gave thanks, in His heart He had already received the miracle of an over-abundant supply of bread and fish! He already knew that He had what He needed BEFORE He actually saw it manifested, so He gave thanks.
When many of us give thanks for the meal we are about to eat; we do it because we physically see it. Jesus gave thanks IN ADVANCE of physically seeing enough to feed 20,000 people! He was giving thanks in faith that He had already received more than enough to feed so many.
This revelation has changed my entire view of giving thanks. I realize that I need to thank God for the promises I have already received by faith—before their physical manifestation in my life. This thinking is contrary to how we naturally think. In the natural we give thanks after we have received in the physical. But Jesus gave thanks prior to receiving enough bread to feed that huge number of people. Jesus acted in faith!
Faith is proof and evidence of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Jesus, by faith, saw the supply before it actually showed up. His faith was all the proof and evidence He needed to take action. He dispensed the bread and fish with confidence giving it to his disciples who in turn gave it to the multitude. He knew when He started the distribution process He would receive the miracle. Therefore, He thanked God in advance.
This should be a lesson for us. What do you need? What miracle do you need manifested in your life? I would encourage you to thank God before you receive it. Do you need healing? Thank God you are healed! Do you need money? Thank God that you are enriched in every way and have more than enough! Whatever you need, thank God in advance. Your thanksgiving is an act of faith—and God always responds to faith (Hebrews 11:6).
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