Are You Begging Him or Thanking Him?
Posted by Joel Osteen on 11/29/2013
When our son Jonathan got his driver’s license a couple of years ago, we bought him a used car. A few months after he got that car, Alexandra, at age thirteen, came up to me and said, “Daddy, when I get my driver’s license are you going to buy me a car?” She wanted to get this on the record early on. I said, “Yes, Alexandra. I’m going to buy you a car.” She said, “You promise?” I said, “I promise.”
Do you know that since the day I gave her my word she has not asked me one time to buy her that car? She is totally convinced that I will do what I said. So much so, that she talks about that car as if it’s already hers. She has no doubt that car is coming. But how would I feel as a father if she came up every day and said, “Daddy, please get me that car. Daddy, I’m begging you. When I get my driver’s license please get me a car.”
It would make me feel badly. I would say, “Alexandra, don’t you believe what I said? You don’t have to keep asking me. You certainly don’t have to beg me. Just believe that I’ll do what I said.”
This is how God must feel when we ask Him again and again for the same thing. When we beg Him, God says, “Don’t you trust Me? Don’t you have the confidence that I will do what I promised?”
When Alexandra goes around talking about that car she wants, dreaming about what color it’s going to be, excited about what’s in her future; that brings a smile to my face. From time to time she’ll come up and put her arm around me, long blonde hair, blue eyes as beautiful as can be and she’ll thank me for that car that is to come. She’ll tell me how much she loves me and how proud she is to be my daughter. When she does that I think, “Do you want one car or do you want two?”
The point is this: Thanking does a whole lot more than begging. When you’re constantly giving God thanks, telling Him how much you love Him, how great He is, how proud you are to be His child, it causes God to want to go out of His way to be good to you. But if we go around thinking, “Oh, man. Life’s hard. God, can’t You see I’m struggling? God, I’m asking You, I’m begging You, God. Just help me get through this.” That doesn’t get God’s attention. Praise gets His attention. Thanking Him in advance for the answer. Acting like it’s on the way. That’s what brings promises to pass!
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18, NIV).