I believe that all of life should be lived the way we say grace at the dinner table: giving thanks ahead of time for what we are about to receive.
In John 11:41 we find an amazing prayer. Jesus prays, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me." A closer look reveals that this prayer came right before God did one of the most spectacular miracles in the Bible. God brought Jesus' friend, Lazarus, back from the dead.
Now, mark this. When Jesus prayed this prayer, Lazarus was still in the grave. The thanksgiving came before the miracle. It seems backwards. You would think the thanksgiving would come after the resurrection. And no doubt there were plenty of shouts of thankfulness after Lazarus was brought back to life. But Jesus did a very odd thing: Jesus thanked God before it happened.
Jesus reveals a great approach to life. Pre-gratitude. Become someone who thanks God for what He’s going to do before it happens. Not that we tell God what to do, but we thank Him for whatever He will do, knowing it is for our good and His glory.
I’ve made it a habit to approach each day like I approach each meal. I give thanks ahead of time. In the process, I have found that I am much more aware of what God is doing. Sometimes they are simple things, like dolphins dancing in the waves, or a special conversation with one of my kids. I realize these are some of the very things I was thanking God for earlier. Even during difficult situations I am more inclined to look for God in the midst of it. And to know there is a hidden blessing I’m suppose to discover. If you want to experience a thriving faith each day, become a forward-thanker.