Give Thanks

Posted on November 20, 2014 · Posted in Encouragement, Faith, Praise and Worship

Are you currently thankful?  Who are you thankful to and for what?  Does your thankfulness depend on your circumstances?  Pause and reflect for just a moment.  Is it hard to be thankful because you have been desperately praying for something and have come up empty-handed?  Are you losing hope?  Is this a difficult time because of a recent loss?  My heart aches with you.  Thanksgiving is a season of the year that is set aside to be thankful, so it can stir up different emotions.  For many, this is a wonderful time to gather with family and friends and to give thanks to God for His provision.  Others are thankful, but never to their Creator.

Personally, I can relate to the feelings of hopelessness that can come when you begin to lose faith in a trial.  My husband was out of work on and off for five years.  I remember the shock of not feeling like we could even afford a hamburger.  I remember the stress, especially on my husband, which in turn affected our family.  My heart ached at the awkwardness of him not knowing how to answer when people would ask him what he did for a living.  In our world, self-esteem in life is all wrapped up in what a person does so he felt the sting.  I also left volunteer ministry work for employment.

What Is God’s Will for You?

God’s Answer May Surprise You

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Looking at your own circumstances, you may ask how this verse is even possible to obey!  Read the verse again.  It is possible only in Christ Jesus!  You must rely on the Lord Jesus Christ and not on yourself!  Notice that we are to thank God in everything, not for everything that happens to us because we know that God is in control.  These verses are Holy Spirit driven from beginning to end!  A fruit of the Holy Spirit is joy no matter what is going on in our life.  To pray continually is to depend on the Holy Spirit to do the will of God.  We give thanks in all circumstances when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit who lives in the believer.

God Is the God of All Compassion.  He understands when it is hard to be thankful, so He will help you.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.  He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.  Psalm 72:12 and Isaiah 41:13

 Your Faith Will Be Tested

Walk by Faith and Not by Sight

Trials challenge our faith in God and so this is always where the spiritual battle rages!  We are especially vulnerable to the enemy in situations where we have no control and there are no answers.  We don’t see anything happening, so we begin to doubt God, not thank Him.  Ask God to strengthen your faith in your fiery trial and cling to Jesus and what you know and believe about Him. 

Maybe if you are honest, you are mad at God and so this is where you need to start.  Tell God how you honestly feel!  My husband was mad at God and he finally told God when he was most desperate and at his lowest point.  He expressed his raw, but honest emotions to God and then said, “I surrender, I accept your will whatever it looks like.”  Very soon after that, he answered an ad in the newspaper and that was 27 years ago.  He just retired in May.  Together, we gave thanks to God because we saw by experience in those five years that God answers prayer, that He is faithful, and that He provides for His children.  Out of this trial both my husband I were strengthened in our faith and we knew God better.

Giving Thanks and Praising God Are Truly Supernatural!

Gritting your Teeth to Endure is Not the Answer 

From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.   Psalm 8:2

Praise is powerful, and praise silences the enemy.  The hardest thing to do is to praise God when everything is going wrong in our life.  It is God who enables His children to praise Him despite their circumstances.  Praise and thanksgiving are the work of the Holy Spirit.  When we praise God, we honor and exalt Him in everything no matter what!  When adversity comes, we are tempted to doubt God, to focus on our circumstances and then we lose heart.  Instead, by the grace of God, we can praise Him that He is sovereign and in control, and like Job, we will accept the good and the bad because we believe that God is working all things together for our good and His glory.  We can always be thankful for God’s daily presence with us!  Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.

Do Not Neglect Prayer and God’s Word

God Hears Your Prayers and He Will Speak to You from His Word

In the morning, O lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.  Your Word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.  Your faithfulness continues through all generations.  Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.  Psalms 5:3; 119:89-90; 106

Reading the Bible is so important!  Jesus will be your greatest source of comfort, strength and hope as you hear God speak to you from His Word.  The Book of Psalms especially will encourage and remind you of who God is and what He has done.  God hears and answers your prayers so pray about everything that concerns you and always remember that God is in control even when it does not look like it.  God is able to do the impossible and His will cannot be thwarted! 

I have prayed for all who read “Give Thanks. I have asked God to strengthen your faith, to trust Him today and not worry about tomorrow.  I have prayed that you will expect Him to provide for you even though you have no idea how.  May God encourage and strengthen you to keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus and not on your circumstances and may He enable you to give thanks.

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 Bible study for “Give Thanks  Psalms 18:6, 16, 28:6-7; 34:4-7, 15 -19; 38:8; 68:19; 121; 140:3; 32; Job 1:20-22; 2:9-10; 42:2; Matthew 19:26; Mark 9:23-24; Luke 1:37; Romans 5:1-5; 8:26-29; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; 4:16-18; 5:7; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 4:12-13, 19-20; Hebrews 4:14-16; 11:6; James 1:2-4, 12; 5:11; 1 Peter 5:6-7