Grace and Peace!
Happy Thanksgivings! How thankful have you been? As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, think to yourself “Have I truly been thankful to God this year? Yes, we had a pandemic; yes, we have race issues around the globe; yes, we have had to social distance from family and friends; yes, we now must wear a mask in public, and so on and so on! But through it all God has been faithful! A great biblical example of true thanksgiving was King David; he knew the power of thanksgiving. David understood that thanksgiving reflects a humble heart and is rooted in humble gratitude. He was genuinely grateful because for him God was his only solution, his only escape from danger, and he trusted God to show up and deliver him. For David, God meant life.
No matter what our circumstances, we can always thank God for who He is and for delivering us from every dark place into every blessing of light. James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights ". Thanksgiving honors God. It is a facet of praise, a biblical precept, a key component of prayer and our Christian love walk. The dictionary defines thanksgiving as "a prayer that offers thanks to God; an expression or an act of giving thanks; a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness." I Timothy 4:4-5 “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer”.
Sometimes we tend to can get caught in the cycle of whining and complaining with God concerning how long it is taking Him to meet our need; instead of thanking Him for all that He has already done for us. Our unhappiness can keep us continually seeking explanations from God, instead of thanking Him for the boulders He has already moved and the seas that He has parted to get us this far. It seems that we have a memory loss of all the miracles He has performed to bring us the victories we have already been given. The victories that we see and the ones that we know nothing about! While waiting for God to do the "big" thing for us, we forget to be thankful for the little victories along the way which in reality aren’t little at all! Thank Him for being able to spend this holiday with family maybe not with our friends, but to still be here! It didn’t have to be this way, instead of being six feet apart we could have been six feet under! What if the small blessings we receive from God are a special test of our heart? God may just want to see if we will be thankful even for the smallest gift. Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High”. On the other hand, the enemy wants us to become dissatisfied with the victories God has given us, because a dissatisfied and ungrateful heart is easy for him to manipulate. When we’re frustrated, he can get us to do and say things we would not otherwise do and this can develop into an attitude that can hurt our faith. Jealousy and selfish ambition are both rooted in an ungrateful, dissatisfied heart. A heart that is dissatisfied is like a hunger that is never satisfied, or a flame that never dies out. If we allow it, it will eat away at the enjoyment we find in this life. Having a thankful heart keeps us in a "safe haven" - a place where the enemy cannot gain access to our minds. That place is where we give thanksgiving and praise to God for ALL He has done for us. I Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
If God has promised it, He will complete it. But we have our part to do, and that is thanking Him in spite of how things look in the natural. Our frustration and anxiety will only hinder God. Praise and thanksgiving prove we are trusting in God to do the impossible for us in His timing and in His way. Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".
The presence, peace and power of God are gifts given freely to those who trust Him and do not allow fear and anxiety to remain in their heart. The peace of God will guard our heart. Anxiety will erode our faith and trust in God, but the peace of God that passes all understanding will produce a thankful heart. God loves it when we trust in Him. One way we can show Him our trust is to thank Him for meeting our needs, even before we see it made evident in the natural. As we begin to thank Him, our appreciation keeps our eyes on God's faithfulness. It shows us how big and awesome He is; it reminds us of how He has helped us in the past and assures us He will help us in the present and future. Complaining keeps our vision small and makes us focus on our problems. Praising raises our eyes to our great big God who is constantly looking after us. We need to focus, not just on rebuking the devil, but on magnifying God! With our praise and adoration of Him, we will begin to see that there is no problem too big for our God. Psalm 95:2 says, "Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song."
Indeed, thanksgiving is a powerful principle that touches the Father's heart. May we ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts, and may we give God thanks for every good and perfect gift and not just because it is Thanksgiving Day. Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."
Overcomer, ask yourself and your family, "How is my attitude of thanksgiving? How grateful is my heart? Do I really honor God enough with prayers of thanksgiving? What gifts from above have I taken for granted?
Have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Day!! Give Him thanks continuously.
Be Optimistic; Be Open Minded; Be an Over comer!!
Love Min. P.