What are you thanking the Lord for? If you have time, make a short list of things. As you list what you are thankful for, what begins to happen in your heart? Giving thanks helps us look up. When we begin to list what God has given us, the Lord brings things to our mind we may have forgotten about or taken for granted. It results in praise. As I began to make my list, eyesight came to my mind. I can’t remember the last time I thanked the Lord for being able to see.
Jesus Looks Up to Give Thanks
Prior to feeding the 5000 Jesus takes time to give thanks. John 6:8 Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. 9 “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” 10 “Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people.
Jesus is the model for giving thanks. Andrew had found a bit of food, but not enough to feed the crowd. Jesus took what they had, gave thanks to the Father, and proceeded to feed everyone with food left over. What if, instead of focusing on how much we lack, that we would instead focus on what we do have and thank God for it?
An Attitude of Thanks Helps us Look Up
Having an attitude of gratitude helps us to remember the good things that God has given to us. Oftentimes, we are tempted to dwell on the negative things that are happening in our lives. When we are thankful, we begin to change the focus from ourselves to the Lord. I begin to realize I have a lot to be thankful for no matter the situation.
Here are just some examples of what we can be thankful for as followers of Jesus. As believers we are always safe in God’s hands. We will someday be in heaven. Heaven will be the most perfect place we can imagine, and God has prepared it with great care for all those who love Him. On this earth we have an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus with others. On this earth we can encourage and help others on their journey.
The enemy doesn’t want us to be thankful because he knows that when we are grateful, we live more contented lives and are more willing to share the love of Jesus with others. Thess. 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
A Prayer of Thanks
Dear God,thank You for your amazing power and work in our lives, thank You for your goodness and for Your blessings over us. Thank You that You bring hope through even the toughest of times, strengthening us for your purposes. We praise You for Your great love, mercy, grace, and care. Thank You that You are always with us and will never leave us. Thank you for your incredible sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don’t thank You enough, for who You are, for all that You do, for all that You’ve given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on You afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with Your peace and joy. We love You and we need You, this day and every day. We give You praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy. Amen. 
To hear more how Jesus gave thanks at the feeding of the 5000, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-a-crowd-of-5000
[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.