Our final lesson of the series, Thanks in Advance.
When writing emails, I have a tendency to be overly-polite. I’ve read emails before that seemed negative, even thought the author may not have intended it that way. I never want my emails to be misinterpreted. So, I fill my sentences with positive words to make sure the receiver knows there’s a sincere sentiment behind the message.
I often end an email with something like this, “Thank you in advance for your time.”
I guess I’m assuming the person will take the time to review my email, mull it over, and respond accordingly. I just want to make sure I thank them for their extra effort.
Today we conclude this month’s series on learning how to be steadfast in our daily lives. We’ve learned crucial lessons while walking through chapter 11 of John. Last week we saw how Mary and Martha quickly responded when the heard Jesus was coming. I’m sure they were a little bit curious what would happen when Jesus found out Lazarus had died four days earlier.
Remember, every lesson in this series has come from the actions surrounding Lazarus’ death. Here we are in our last week of the series, and Jesus is just now visiting the tomb where Lazarus is buried.
As Jesus stands before the tomb surrounded by family, mourners, and others, something remarkable happens.
He thanks God in advance.
That’s right, Jesus thanked God before he called Lazarus out of the tomb. What a lesson for us today.
Thanking God for hearing our needs before He answers demonstrates three important character traits that all contribute to steadfast living:
Thanking God in advance shows we trust Him with the answer.
Thanking God in advance shows our gratitude, regardless of whether or not it’s the answer we wanted.
Thanking God in advance shows our willingness to follow His plan.
As we come to the end of this series of lessons from the book of John, let this be our prayer to our awesome Father today.
Lord, thank you in advance for what you are about to do. I release control of the outcome. I fully trust you with my life and this situation. However you answer, I obey willingly. I praise you for hearing my prayer. Amen.