The Power of Two Simple Words
Over fifty years ago, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed the second Monday in October to be “a day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed…” Like most Canadians, our family begins the celebration the weekend before. That’s this coming weekend! I love the opportunity to gather with and enjoy my family and my church family.
Thanksgiving weekend approaching, I have been giving much thought to what it means to give thanks. I suppose I truly started thinking about this topic while at the SocialBoom conference.
The Thank You Economy
Gary Vaynerchuck, one of the featured speakers at a conference I recently attended, is author of The Thank You Economy. Gary is making a massive income from practising and promoting being consciously grateful. I thought, here is a worldly man prospering from applying a biblical principle while many Christians don’t appreciate all the ways they are blessed. We sometimes need to be reminded to be thankful and even to say: thank you! There is something special about those words. People respond when we express our thanks with the right attitude. When we lapse in our gratitude, we miss out on God’s best – for us and those around us.
God Is Serious About Our Thankfulness
Colossians 3:17 is a wonderful scripture; it tells us to give thanks to God in whatever we do in word or deed. Think about it. Whatsoever you say or do, do it in the name of Jesus and give thanks to God. Now, that’s an all-inclusive statement! God is obviously serious about our giving thanks. Have you ever wondered why?
First, a thankful heart is a humble heart. Thankfulness is anchored in the understanding that we are completely dependent on God. There is nothing we can do without His grace and mercy. Also, giving thanks to God releases His supernatural power into our lives. If you lack in any area – spiritual, physical, financial – start giving thanks for God’s provision, then stand back and watch God work.
“In Everything, Give Thanks”
I know. It is not always easy to give thanks. Just like you, I find it easiest to give thanks when everything goes well and according to my desires. But God calls us to give thanks in everything. There’s no wiggle room, is there? Everything is everything.
When challenges come, we can choose to be thankful for the opportunity to overcome or master something. Giving thanks strengthens our faith and releases the power of God in the situation. Suddenly, we are accomplishing or overcoming what we never thought possible. God causes us to be successful.
So, let’s decide that regardless of how our day is going, we will give thanks for everything that He is doing in and through us all day long, and even as we sleep! Each day is made by God for us to enjoy and to more fully enjoy our relationship with Him. That in itself is something for which we can give thanks. And by doing so we disrupt the plans of the devil.
Giving Thanks Disrupts The Devil’s Plan
When we express our gratitude to God, we remind ourselves and the devil we are submitted to God and God alone. So those problems and fiery darts that Satan sends our way are stopped by the wall of faith that has been built from the bricks of gratitude.
Satan is opposed to God and always wants us to do the opposite of what God says to do. He delights if we murmur, complain and blame God for our problems. When we instead choose to thank God, not for the attack, but for His power to help us overcome, it will change our attitude and strengthen our faith. You may be wondering if gratitude in the face of adversity is practical.
I once heard it said “revelation without manifestation is a missed opportunity.” I’m standing in faith that we have had a revelation about giving thanks. Let’s talk about how to manifest thankfulness so we don’t miss our opportunities. Perhaps you are facing a challenge as you read this. Let’s apply the principal of gratitude. Believe that your steps are ordered by the Lord and begin giving thanks today in the midst of your trials.
Instead of focusing on the challenge, see it as an opportunity to achieve something—to obtain the promises of God in that area. Turn that challenge into an opportunity for God to manifest and transform the situation. Teach this to others. Share your gratefulness for the ways God has worked in your life. There is nothing you can’t do with God on your side. Consider your problem as already solved and give Him thanks!
Even though it goes against our flesh, gratitude in the face of adversity is practical because its benefits far outweigh the momentary satisfaction of negativity. Thankfulness is always the right choice.
The Thank You Revolution
Gratitude or thankfulness is such a powerful principle. If an author coming from a worldly perspective has been blessed by proclaiming a life of gratitude, how much more should we as Christians obey God’s will in this matter? Start your own “Thank You Revolution” right now. Become more aware of giving thanks and then teach others to do the same. Start small. Be sincere. And just watch what God will do! There is something about a grateful heart that opens doors.
I encourage you to thank God, not just during the holidays, but every day. In everything you do and everything you say, give thanks. Recognize who is in charge and give Him honor by giving thanks!