Today, in our study, we are learning about a pattern given in the scriptures. This pattern is given in various places throughout the scriptures.
The first instance of this pattern that we study will be from the life of Christ.
“And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.” – Matthew 15:36-37
Christ is always the master example for us, which is why I love this story.
A few things to consider:
- Christ had to feed at least 4,000 people – with seven loaves and fishes.
- This doesn’t seem like it will be enough food to feed the multitude.
- With gratitude, He gave thanks for the food that had been provided.
- He was confident in His gratitude and thanksgiving. He was confident that the multitude would be fed and blessed.
- Sometimes, I hesitate in gratitude because I feel like what I have been given (ie. 7 loaves and fishes) isn’t enough for what I want. (ie- to feed a multitude). Instead of seeing what I have and recognizing that the Lord also knows what is available, I seem to have a tendency to focus on what I think I lack.
- Sometimes, I am tempted to think of course it was easy for Jesus to be confident…he was Jesus!…but when I think about it, why should my faith be any different. Jesus believed in the same God I believe in. He had the power of the priesthood, the same power we’ve been blessed with. We can trust in the Lord and in Heavenly Father. So…I can be confident in the power of the Lord, and I can show my gratitude for His love and blessing.
- The people ate, and were filled, and there was food leftover.
- When we are grateful, the Lord blesses us and fills us. – and He is capable of doing that – even with only seven loaves and fishes!
Paul teaches us this pattern:
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” – Philippians 4:6
- Be confident – in the Lord. – The first part of this scripture “Be careful” – means that we shouldn’t be overly concerned or afflicted about anything. Again, Christ is a great example of this. Instead of fretting about the multitude he had to feed with only seven loaves and fishes, he was confident.
As I ponder this, I am thinking about the connection between confidence and gratitude. And I don’t mean confidence in ourselves, but confidence in the Lord. Confidence shows that we trust the Lord, which is a key ingredient in our gratitude.
- Instead of worry, pray.
- Supplication – I have always had a “feeling” of what this meant, but just to be sure, I looked it up in the dictionary: ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly. That is how we ought to pray – with humility. And in a sense “begging” – we do kneel, and when we pray, we know that we, in and of ourselves, aren’t worthy of any blessing, so we must ask God to bless us out of His mercy and love for us.
- Thanksgiving – I don’t think that we can supplicate without thanksgiving. As we recognize the blessings we have already received (even if they don’t seem like they’re enough), we recognize our Need of Heavenly Father. We become more humble. A grateful heart is the fertile ground for faith. Why was it easy for Christ to be confident that the multitude could be fed with such a small amount of food: because His faith was perfect.
- Let your requests be made known to God. – Heavenly Father wants to know what we want. He wants us to make requests. He wants us to ask. And when we do, we just need to ask with humility and Thanksgiving – having faith that we will receive.
So – this is the pattern…
We can find various examples of this in the scriptures.
Paul follows the pattern he taught, as recorded in Acts 16:25-34.
Another example is when Nephi is tied up on the boat, as recorded in 1 Nephi 15:18-21
Finally, an example that I particularly love is in Ether 6:4-12 Throughout their journey, they sang praises to the Lord, even though the winds and storms never ceased. It is interesting to realize, too – that the Jaredites needed these storms to progress to the promised land. We can be grateful for all that we have – even trials, AND supplicate the Lord for needed blessings at the same time. In fact, the most effective way to get the blessings we need in this life is through humility and gratitude. Asking for desired blessings isn’t complaining.
The Lord wants us to do ask. He wants to bless us. He wants us to Be Happy. He wants us to come to Him. He wants us to make it to our “promised land”, and we won’t be able to do that without Him.
So, we need to go forward, confidently, grateful, and asking God, in His mercy, to bless us with what we need to overcome whatever problem happens to stand in our way.
Have you experienced this in your life? How has humbling yourself and being grateful helped you to receive needed blessings? How has this pattern contributed to your overall happiness?
For tomorrow’s assignment, click here.