“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 (NIV)
A couple years ago I remember reading a Facebook post from one of our pastor’s wives stating that they had prayed ahead of time, before a shopping trip, for God to bless their money and help them find good deals and they were happy to report He had delivered above and beyond. Just yesterday a good friend showed me a devotional that talked about praising God before you see the miracle in your life….not waiting until after or forgetting to praise Him at all. Another pastor at our church challenged our small group to praise God for our paychecks and the ability to stretch our dollars before we even begin working on the bills.
I realized that a few months ago, my husband got me started on that wonderful habit of praising God beforehand…fully expecting and believing He would work a miracle in our lives. Every two weeks, we both praise God for the deals He is going to give us at the grocery store and how He is going to stretch our dollars to fit the list each time, because each trip the needs change in our household. And every time, without fail, God delivers. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in smaller ways, but always delivers what we need, when we need it.
Some weeks there is 5% or 15% off all groceries or apparel. Another week it was $5 off every $50 I spent – and I spent $150 so I checked out three times and saved $15, along with coupons, mperks, and other rewards. Still other weeks there are huge sales on certain things we need. For instance, we get great deals on a specific brand of shampoo…combined with coupons I end up spending less than half of what the normal price would be and I get to stock up until the next time I get to do that again.
This week was grocery shopping week. I had to buy a few extra items this week and I was a little worried I would have to dip into another account to pay for it. We also had different food items to buy this time…so I didn’t really know how far my budget would stretch. I gave it all to God ahead of time and thanked Him for the money to cover it. And guess what? I was able to spend cash on all of it and saved over $70 with all the coupons, deals, sale prices, etc.
I really do believe that it pleases God when we praise Him ahead of time just like I believe it pleases God when we choose to praise Him during the trials in our lives. It’s a lot easier to praise Him when we see the deliverance, the blessings, the “good stuff,” but it requires a little more faith to praise Him before we see the results.
What if we don’t get the results we thought we should…or we thought He was going to give? Praise Him anyway. We don’t know the big picture. We don’t know what He’s teaching us. All we do know is that He is God and if we are choosing to obey, then He will work it all out for good eventually.
I may never be a coupon diva – but when I listen for His voice and try to obey with my spending, God creates sales and savings that continue to bless our family. Praising Him ahead of time gets easier with practice…and I don’t forget to praise Him afterward too! After all, everyone likes to hear the word “thank You!”
© Cheri Swalwell 2015