We are such a BLESSED people. Yet, among the many people I talk with, several are full of complaints and discouragement. As a result, they are looking for something they feel is missing in their walk with The Lord.
Jesus told us to, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Yet, how many of us seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness before we start seeking anything else?
Many in the Body of Christ have expressed the concern to me that they feel the heavens are brass—that God is not there when they pray. They cannot feel His Presence as they once could and/or would like to again. They feel cold, lethargic, and out of touch when it comes to the things of our Lord. Perhaps you too have experienced or are currently experiencing some of these issues. Let me encourage you with this...
For Everything God
Has satan Has A Counterfeit
Spiritualism is the counterfeit of The Holy Spirit. Fortune telling is the counterfeit of the foretelling of prophetic operations. Physic healing is the counterfeit of God’s Healing Power. For every true gift and flow of God, satan has a counterfeit. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalms 100:4).
10 Things Giving Thanks Will Do
1. Giving Thanks Makes You Realize You Are Never Alone
Of course, you should start our day with telling our Lord, “Thank You.” Thank You for my life, my family, my friends, my salvation…etc. When you are thankful, your day starts off with a smile and a positive attitude.
When you feel alone, and it seems difficult to find someone you can trust to talk to, you feel trapped with nowhere to turn. Let me encourage you to try giving thanks. As you get into thanksgiving, you become aware of The Presence of our Father, God. You realize you are never alone, and you begin to talk to Him. It may seem difficult at first, but hang in there. Giving thanks will begin to relieve the loneliness and pain you feel, because Go is always there. You see, you never have to perform with Jesus. You can come to Him just as you are; say exactly what your heart feels. There is such release and comfort in knowing that. As you thank Father, He will never turn you away. He is a Gentleman. He will never repeat what has been said between the two of you. Jesus Loves you just as you are.
Perhaps you have tried to talk to someone and they just could not understand what you were saying, or seemed distracted and/or unconcerned. Jesus always understands what is going on in your life. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), and “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalms 103:14). These verses mean that He can identify with everything that is going on in our lives He completely understands. Moreover, He is never distracted or unconcerned. We are always His top priority. Jesus is never too busy to listen.
Maybe you’ve just been driving down the road, or out for a walk and desired some conversation, not about anything in particular, but would just like some company. Jesus loves fellowship. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). If you can hear His voice that means Jesus will talk to, and with you. He knows you, everything about you. He desires to be your Companion and Friend.
How do you begin to thank Him when you are alone? Begin at your point of need. Example: “Thank You, Father, that You are my Companion and Friend. Thank You that You are trustworthy, and You are always here with me and for me. Thank You for understanding and being so patient with me. Thank You for Your amazing Love for me…”
As you enter into thanksgiving, Jesus becomes bigger to you than your problem, bigger to you than your need. The longer and the more that you thank Him, the easier it becomes. In addition, the joy and peace that thanksgiving fills your life with — makes it a wonderful, blessed, and an exciting experience. Offering up thanksgiving is a win, win proposition. Jesus will never let you down. Jesus will always show up. Don’t you show up when someone would like to thank you for something you have done for them?
2. Giving Thanks Motivates You to See His Purpose
In choosing to give God thanks, it motivates you to look for His Purpose in the situation instead of trying to manipulate your way out of the situation. You begin to desire His Purpose.
Have you ever wondered, “Why am I going through this?” “What did I do wrong?” or “What can I do to change this situation?” “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Sometimes that seems so hard to understand and believe…doesn’t it? Our understanding and logical thinking just cannot make these things compute in our minds. It does not make sense to us no matter how hard we try to understand. Look at what God said: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
Giving thanks will take you out of your own understanding and you will begin to recognize that He truly knows all things. He had a Plan when He created this world. His Plan continued when He sent Jesus as flesh to live here on earth and experience the same things that you and I do. Jesus came to this earth and became flesh so that He could become the Ultimate Sacrifice for our sins and set us free from the curse of sin and death. He made Provision for you to live the abundant life while here on earth.
Jesus always understands what is going on in your life. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” That means He can identify with everything that is going on in your life. He completely understands. As I stated before, Jesus is never distracted or unconcerned. You are always, His top priority. He is never too busy to listen.
God does not have a plan A, plan B, and/or plan C. He only has a Perfect Plan.
It is sometimes necessary for you to go through some things. Example, you must be offended to learn forgiveness. You must go through sadness to appreciate joy. And, you must face turmoil in your life to experience His peace. You ask, “How can I thank God for all that?” You cannot thank Him for the offense or sadness or the turmoil in your life, but you can thank Him that He has a way of escape for you. He will provide you with the strength to overcome any situation you are faced with.
Perhaps you don’t know how to start thanking Him or you don’t know what to say. Here is an example: “Lord, I cannot thank You that my husband does not treat me like I know You would like for him to. But, I thank You, Father, that You love him, and that You have a perfect plan for him and for our marriage. I thank You, Lord, that You are bigger than his anger and mistreatment of me. I thank You, Father, that You know exactly where I am and what I need. I thank You and trust You, Lord, to do a work in our marriage; that our marriage will become whole and complete as Your Word has taught us it should be”
Maybe your need is similar to this: “Lord, I cannot thank You that my son or daughter is on drugs but, I thank You that You are bigger than the drug addiction. I thank You that You have a purpose for his/her life. I thank You, Lord, that You will use this thing to tear down the walls of the enemy and expose the works of unrighteousness around them. I thank You, Lord, for the Angels that You have stationed around them. I thank You that this thing the enemy means to destroy my son or daughter with, You will turn into good in their lives and You will use their deliverance for Your Glory and as a ministry for Your kingdom.”
What thanksgiving will do is take the burden off of your shoulders and place it at His feet. Thanksgiving will help you to see how Big, Awesome, and Trustworthy our God really is.
3. Giving Thanks Brings Submission To His Will
Giving thanks helps you to bring your will into submission to do His Will; it relieves anger, frustration and rebellion. Giving thanks changes your attitude.
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). This is a commandment not a suggestion. The reason is, God knows the beginning from the end. He has made every Provision for you now. He has Established A Pattern for you to follow so you can walk into that Provision.
When you come to the realization that He does have your best interest in mind, it is easier to give Him thanks. Here is an example of how you can do that. “I thank You, Lord, through Your provision, I can walk as the head and not the tail. I can be blessed when I go in, and blessed when I come out. I can walk in Your Wisdom and Understanding. Through You, I can resist temptation. I thank You, Father. All these blessings will follow you as I live according to Your Commandments.”
As you choose to give Him thanks, you will begin to realize these provisions and more are yours. You begin to understand there is nothing in yourself that can cause you to partake of God’s Goodness and Provision. You will receive His Goodness as you submit to His Established Pattern. As you submit to that Established Pattern, anger goes, frustration goes, rebellion goes, and it changes your whole attitude. Why? Because there is nothing, or no one bigger, or more Powerful than our God is.
“I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalms 116:17). A sacrifice is a thing that is offered, a thing that is given up, a loss of something. What God is commanding you to do is lay down the fleshly emotions and attitudes that say, “I don’t feel like it right now” or, “I’ll do it later.” Whatever you may feel like, whatever your justification is, God does not see it that way.
The choice is yours, you can walk around in anger, frustration and rebellion and all the other “feelings” that go with that, or you can do it God’s Way and walk around in Peace, Wisdom and Joy and experience all the other ”Blessings” that go with that. You cannot lay blame on someone else for the way your life is going when you are deliberately being disobedient to God. Sure, it is tough; sometimes it is downright hard. That is why it is called a sacrifice.
You will be amazed at the difference in your life, as giving thanks becomes a way of life. Your fellowship with Him becomes sweeter and more precious; and I promise you, you will begin to sense His Will for you in areas of your life that you, up until this time, have only had questions about.
Father, please help me to become a thankful person. I desire to obey You in all Your Ways, and I recognize that giving You thanks is very important to You, and to me. If I begin to grumble about life or begin to doubt Your Love and/or Provision for me, please bring to my remembrance that I must give You thanks. Father, I need Your strength, Your Grace, and Your Ability, Your Encouragement to do this. I am asking You to place within me a desire to thank You, a desire to break old habits. Therefore, Lord, I give You my heart and my mouth to change into instruments of thanksgiving to, and for You. Thank you, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer.
4. Giving Thanks Reminds You of Your Continuing Dependence
Before I gave my life to Jesus, my two oldest children were kidnapped. I can remember the horror of those two years as alcohol became an escape for me. I could not find peace anywhere. I was a true basket case. I was so angry, bitter, resentful, rebellious, all that Yuk. I was just a real pain to be around; others did not enjoy my company at all. Then, I met Jesus. The very next morning after I gave my life totally over to Him, I got up and realized I was a new person. Old things were passed away and all things were new to me. I began to thank Him for He had lifted me up and brought me out of all that Yuk, I began to thank Him that He has much for me to do. Now, I thank Him for not giving up on me. I have learned this, if I do not stay dependent on Him, I will depend on myself or someone else.
People will let you down, and, you will let yourself down. The only One I know that never lets us down is Jesus. Jesus is our Provider, our Source, our Sufficiency, our Physician, our Healer, our Victory, our Sanctification, our Peace, our Comfort, our Security, our Shepherd, our Guide, our Protector, our Redemption, our Righteousness, our Friend, and so much more. He is always Faithful.
If you have a problem in a specific area of your life, or maybe more than one problem, that is His Specialty. Jesus desires to set you free. He would like to show you how to be victorious and be an overcomer. The only requirement is that you be dependent upon Him. It is through giving thanks, that your will will submit to His Will, and you will willingly become dependent on Him.
As you thank Him for being your Provider, your Source, your Friend, all of the above and more, you will stay aware of your continuing dependence upon Him, and He will prove Himself to be your All in all.
5. Giving Thanks Helps Us Develop A Stronger Trust In Him
Several years ago, I met a woman who was a single mother with two children. Her car was in need of some costly repairs, which she did not have the finances to cover, and as a result, she started praying for a different car. She knew in her mind that Father would provide her a car through someone who could afford to give it to her. Yet, God chose to meet her need through another single mother. Father laid on this other woman's heart to give her car to the woman in need. She obeyed, not knowing what she then was going to do for transportation. Father honored her obedience by giving her back a Cadillac. Boy was it pretty. God did not provide either need the way the women thought He would.
6. Giving Thanks Focuses Our Attention On God
Giving thanks will energize you when you are weary and tired both emotionally and/or physically. Your inner man is renewed and something happens on the outside. Giving thanks releases a Supernatural Strength; a Divine Energy will be released within you.
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1Thessalonians 5:18) . This is not a suggestion from our Father it is a commandment. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). As you look at these two scriptures, you have to wonder how you or perhaps someone you may know can just lay a heavy burden down. It sounds too simple. Maybe you have tried to lay that burden down, but somehow it just hangs on to you. You confess with your mouth, “Jesus, I give this thing to You.” Then you continue to feel the weight of it. It may feel hopeless, but you keep trying the only way you know how. Discouragement tries to set in. What now? This thing just keeps dragging you further and further down.
I gave the example in #2 Giving Thanks Motivates You To See His Purpose: “Lord, I cannot thank You that my husband does not treat me like I know You want him to. But, I thank You, Father, that You love him, and You have a perfect plan for him and for our marriage. I thank You, Lord, that You are bigger than his anger and mistreatment of me. I thank You, Father, that You know exactly where I am and what I need. I thank You and trust You, Lord, to do a work in our marriage, that our marriage will become whole and complete as Your Word has taught us it should be.”
Perhaps your need is similar to this: “Lord, I cannot thank You that my son or daughter is on drugs. But, I thank You that You are bigger than the drug addiction. I thank You, that You have a purpose for their life. I thank You Lord, that You will use this thing to tear down the walls of the enemy and expose the works of unrighteousness around them. I thank You, Lord, for the angels that You have stationed around them. I thank You that this thing the enemy means to destroy my son or daughter with, You will turn to good in their lives and You will use their deliverance for Your Glory and as a ministry for Your kingdom."
What thanksgiving will do is take the burden off your shoulders and place it at His feet. Thanksgiving will help you to see how Big, Awesome, and Trustworthy our God really is.
When you realize your burden is safe with Him, that He does care about it, and that He is going to do something about it, your inner man will be renewed and something will happen to the outside of you. Giving thanks releases a Super-natural Strength. A Divine Energy is released within you.
I know another couple whom God spoke to, to give $100.00 in an offering one night. Logically they did not have this kind of money to give, and it really was a sacrifice for them. Two weeks later they received a phone call from an elderly lady who said, “How would you feel if we paid your house off for you?” The husband got so excited he started shouting and praising God. Then he said, “Who are you?” The elderly lady explained she and a friend had been sitting around the table and started talking about how much money they each had. They decided they had enough for themselves to live on for the rest of their lives, and they just wanted to bless this couple with some of the excess. This couple knew when they obeyed God with the offering that He would honor them. However, they had no idea how. God is always full of surprises.
When God asks something of us, or we ask something of God, if we live in “thanksgiving”, we won't fret about the how, when, and/or where questions that come to our minds. We just know He is Faithful and He always does things in the best way and at the right times. He is never late, but He is never early either. His timing is always Perfect.
Sometimes your mind will try to play games with you with reasonings, and logics, when you lean on your own understanding. Sometimes you may get impatient waiting on God. If you cannot see a way for things to happen or come together, it causes doubt and fear to enter into your spirit. That is when you need to go into thanksgiving. Allow Him through thanksgiving to become bigger than the problem, bigger than the circumstance. Thanksgiving will build up your trust in God and in His will for you and your life. That is true security.
7. Giving Thanks Transforms Anxiety Into Peace
“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). Giving thanks helps you realize God is bigger than your problem.
Does it seem like your mind is going a hundred miles an hour? Society as a whole has so much on their minds; finances, employment, family, health issues, you need to go here, or go there, relationships, trying to figure out when you will have time to do this or that, when you can take the time to do this or that. What are you going to eat? What are you going to wear? How can you do this thing that needs to be done? Then you have the concerns of, “Did I say the right thing? Did I say the wrong thing? Did I make them angry at me? Do they like me?” Does any of this sound familiar?
The word “peace” in Isaiah 26:3 means; quiet, tranquility, contentment, the dictionary gives this definition: freedom from war or strife of any kind; order and security. Doesn't that sound wonderful?
It is sad to say, most of the things that rattle your peace today, you will not remember a year from now. Think about that. If these things are no more important than that, why are they causing such havoc and turmoil in your life?
The biggest reason you have no real peace is because your mind is on everything else but God. You are too busy in the mornings to spend any time with Him. During the day, it is impossible to find a quiet place to set yourself aside to be alone with Him. And by the time evening gets here, you have to hurry to get around to meeting somebody or going somewhere or doing some chores you won't have time to do tomorrow, or you just want to kick back and do nothing, just go brain dead for a while because you are exhausted. Therefore, you think I'll spend time with Him tomorrow. Remember this parable of the Sower, “Listen. What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. 4) As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road and birds ate it. 5) Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, 6) so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. 7) Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled among the weeds and nothing came of it. 8) Some fell on good earth and came up with a flourish, producing a harvest exceeding his wildest dreams.” (Mark 4:3-8 The Message Bible) Giving thanks will cause you to focus on Him and not what is going on around you.
I thank You, Lord, You know right where I am. You know all the issues and pressures of my life. Yet I know You are not wringing Your hands wondering what You are going to do with me, You are not pacing the floor of Heaven with concern over my well-being. You have a Perfect Plan for me. I thank You for Your Wisdom and Understanding that will help me to make good choices today. I thank You for Your Salvation that has set me free from the sin and darkness around me. Thank You, Lord, for Your Protection, for giving Your angels charge over me. Thank You for Your Love for me. Help me, Lord, to rest in You today, to keep my eyes focused on Who You are, Your Faithfulness, Your Blessings. Please help me to keep my mind on You. I know that as I keep my mind on You, I thank You that You will keep me in perfect peace.
8. Giving Thanks Makes Us Able To Rejoice
Giving thanks is essential in being able to rejoice, to be calmly happy, cheerful, (lighthearted in mind and spirit).
We have all seen people who are always up; they just seem to live stress free. Trials come along and they sleep fine. You never hear negative talk come out their mouth. They just seem to be wonderful, positive people that encouragement and insight flows out of them. You are drawn to them and yet somehow you wonder, “Why would they like me? I'm not like they are.” You fail to see anything that the two of you would have in common, yet somehow you wish you two could become friends.
Perhaps sometime down the road you hear something about this person's life to find out that their life has been full of hardships and sufferings. You look at them and amaze at how happy and cheerful they always seem to be. It's hard to figure out, isn't it?
In all probability this person has learned to live in thanksgiving to God. They recognize that everything they have is a Gift from God. This attitude has allowed the trials they have been through to refine them rather than fill them full of doubt and fear. This person has learned to forgive rather than hold a grudge. They have made a conscious choice to be full of thanksgiving to Father in and through all things.
They have chosen to say to themselves as David did, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance” (Psalms 42:5). In other words, they have learned to take control over their mind, will and emotions. They are able to talk to themselves and tell themselves, “I don't care what it looks like, self, you will trust in God.” They have made a choice to believe what God has said to them, and God has never let them down.
Is learning this hard? Yes, most things we learn are not easy and may take awhile. The key is don't give up, recognize you have been the way you are for how long? Determine in your mind, God and His Ways will be the #1 priority to you. You choose to live as a thankful child of God, and every time God comes through for you, it gets easier and easier to trust Him. Giving thanks is the key to changing your mindset and focusing on Him.
Start by giving thanks with your mouth, until your heart follows by becoming grateful to the God you serve.
9. Giving Thanks Impacts Our Christian Witness
When the bottom drops out, whom does the world call? Prayerfully, they will seek us out because of the lifestyle they have seen in us.
A few years ago I received a phone call from a man in another state. He said he was miserable; he wanted to get things right with God. I led him to the Lord. We talked for awhile, but when we hung up my heart just ached. This man lives in a very large city, full of all kinds of churches. He knew people who claimed to love Jesus and be Christians, yet he felt he had to make a long distance phone call to find out how to meet Jesus.
The world will seek you out because of the lifestyle they have seen in you.
- If you think like the world
- If you act like the world
- If you react like the world
- If you are tolerant of sin and wickedness
- If you are not reflecting Jesus
then why should they give Christianity a second look? You have so much more to offer the world than Heaven only. But, because many have not experienced the Joy of their Salvation themselves, they cannot recommend relationship with God to others with any kind of conviction. Whom can the world turn to for help when they need somewhere to go? Giving Thanks will change your attitudes...
- Instead of complaining — you will become an encourager and problem solver
- Instead of bitterness—you will experience joy
- Instead of anger—you will experience peace
- Instead of indifference—you will experience caring
- Instead of rejection—you will experience acceptance
- Instead of hate—you will experience love
As you learn to live in thanksgiving to God, recognizing that everything you have is a Gift from God, you will allow the trials that you are going through to refine you rather than fill you full of doubt and fear. You will learn to forgive rather than hold a grudge, to love rather than hate, to be selfless rather than selfish. As you make a conscious choice to thank Father in all things, that choice will change your life and how you live your life. It will also change the way others see you.
Determine in your mind and in your heart that God and His Ways will be the #1 priority to you. I encourage you, choose to live life as a thankful Child of God.
10. Giving Thanks Builds Relationship With God and Brings Unity
Through The Mind Of Christ
Probably most important, giving thanks builds relationship with our Heavenly Father, causing us to desire to have the mind of Christ in all things.
As the body of Christ, when we start being obedient to God's Word, a unity will come into our presence. Why? Because we are submitting to the mind of Christ, submitting to thinking His Way and doing things His Way. The only way this unity can happen is for each person to take responsibility for himself or herself—to do what God has called and commanded you to do as an individual child of God. That means it is up to me to be accountable for me, not only to God, but also to those around me. You must be accountable for you, not only to God, but also to those around you.
When I give thanks to Jesus my provider, my Source, my Sufficiency, my Physician, my Healer, my Victory, my Sanctification, my Peace, my Comfort, my Security, my Shepherd, my Guide, my Protector, my Redemption, my Righteousness, my Friend and so much more — when you give thanks to Jesus as your Provider, your Source, your Sufficiency, your Physician, your Healer, your Victory, your Sanctification, your Peace, your Comfort, your Security, your Shepherd, your Guide, your Protector, your Redemption, your Righteousness, your Friend and so much more; we are in unity. We are celebrating the mind of Christ.
As I stated before this is not an option, it is a commandment. “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1Thessalonians 5:18). “If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures. 12) But if they do not obey, They shall perish by the sword, And they shall die without knowledge” (Job 36:11-12).
Giving Thanks — acknowledges God's favor.
Giving Thanks — expresses your gratitude and pleasure.
Giving Thanks — shows God you are grateful and agreeable.
If you are not thankful, you are unappreciative and ungrateful. Choose to give thanks and spend all your days in prosperity and your years in pleasures.
Determine in your mind and in your heart that, God and His Ways will be the #1 priority to you. Choose to live life as a thankful Child of God.
Be aware that all attributes of The Most High God are capitalized out of love, respect, and reverence for The Trinity. Also be aware that the name satan, related names, and attributes are capitalized. I choose not to acknowledge or exemplify him even to the point of going against grammatical rules.