“And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.” (John 6:11).

Here we are at the start of another New Year and 2012 is looking to be an extremely important year. It is a year that we must continually give thanks to God for all of His protection and guidance to help us through all that is to come.

How often are we thankful to God for all He has given us? When Jesus had to feed the multitude it says in John 6:6 that “…he himself knew what he would do”. It seemed an impossible task but Jesus knew what the solution was. He gave thanks and then counted on the sufficiency of His Father. He knew that this was where His strength came from. Jesus was never less that God but He lived as a man. Jesus never saw things as being impossible because He knew that He could count on His Father.

It is amazing how our heart is changed when we give thanks to God in our prayers. When we give thanks we are acknowledging our total dependence on Him. We are giving our lives over to Him. If things do not go the way that we think they should go we are not to fret as we know that God is in control of the situation and it is going exactly the way that it should go.

King David knew this. He knew where his strength came from. In Psalm 18 David praises God for his many blessings. He says in Psalm 18:49-50, “Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name. Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore”. David knew that when he gave thanks to the Lord that he was giving control over to God for what He would do. He could then rest in the knowledge that all would be okay. He did not have to worry.

This is a wonderful and powerful thing when you think of it. We worry and fret about so many things but when we give thanks to the Lord for all He is going to do we release control and give it to Him. When things seem to be too much for us we know that Jesus can take them on. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus that we get in trouble. In Matthew 14:28-31 Peter was able to walk on water when Jesus called him. Peter then saw the wind and became afraid and started to sink. He had taken his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the wind. He called on the Lord to save him and Jesus did saying, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matt. 14:31). He wants us to put our complete trust in Him and focus on Him, not on the bad things that are happening around us. When we give thanks we are keeping our eyes totally focused on the Lord. We are acknowledging His power and authority. We are to have a thankful heart and not let our hearts become hardened which can happen when we take our eyes off Him and all that He has taught us.

When we walk with the Lord and our hearts are continually thankful for all that He is doing we can truly call Him our friend. He will guide us and protect us through all that is happening. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross and through it all He trusted His Father and gave Him thanks. He surrendered Himself to the Father’s will. “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39). God then raised Him from the dead and He is sitting on the right hand of God the Father.

As we start this new year let us in the days, weeks and months ahead keep our hearts focused on the Lord and all He can do in our lives and all that we can do because He lives in us. The world is in great upheaval and many things are happening that could test our faith but if we give thanks to God and trust Him with our lives He will not let us down. We can count on Him. His plan for this earth in unfolding as it should and I am thankful that He is in control.