Last year sitting in the Denver Airport, Jeanne and I watched a group of wounded veterans come wheeling and walking by us. Standing we raised our hands and thanked them for their sacrifice and service, to which they stopped, saluted and said thank-you. It was then I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Do you know you’re in a war too? It’s a fight for your soul, your purpose and your destiny.” Not fully understanding what God meant I forgot about it, until last Sunday sitting in our church service God brought the clarity I needed. As the service began one of our Elders said, “I believe we need to take some time and thank our Pastor (it was Pastor appreciation Sunday) for all he’s done for us. As word’s were shared we all experienced the presence of God start to move through-out the church touching those that shared words of appreciation and those that heard the thankful words expressed. Amens, could be heard and tears could be seen rolling down the cheeks of faithful believers that felt thankful and blessed.
Watching God move, I realized that thankful people are content people just like unthankful people usually are discontented people. If you struggle with this statement, go to a local nursing home or assisted living facility. There you will find 2 kinds of people. Those that complain, gripe and grumble seeing life as half-empty (discontented people) and those that are cheerful and happy always sharing words of welcome and encouragement seeing life as half-full (contented people). What’s the difference? It’s found in one word: THANKFULLNESS. The very thing King David experienced in Psa. 51:10 when he prayed to God to create in him a clean heart and renew a right spirit (attitude) in him. He discovered thankfulness created a content person. He discovered thankfulness has the power to be an offensive weapon renewing every heart that desires to be cleaned from Bathsheba compromise’s. Those deceptive lies the devil tries to make you believe you have the right to have when you don’t own them. Or the Goliath lies, that say you have no strength or power to beat the giant’s in your life that laugh and mock you day and night. As a weapon thankfulness has the power to push us from a discontented life into a contented life. Thankfulness can:
- Remove Roadblocks the evil one has set up in our lives. In Psa. 116:16-17, we see David say, “O Lord, you have loosed my bonds, freed my chains. I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” There’s something powerful in the offering of a sacrifice, especially if it’s a living one (Rom. 12:1) that is holy and acceptable to the Lord. Thankfulness also becomes a standard the Lord can hold up when the enemy comes in like a flood (Isa. 59:19). It’s a banner God wave’s over us saying you are more than a conqueror with a thankful clean heart.
2. Reclaims that which has been lost. In Col. 2:6-9, we see Paul showing us how thankfulness helps in reclaiming that which we once owned, but somehow let it go and lost, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him (the idea is you must continue walking in what you once walked in) rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught abounding in thanksgiving, overflowing in thanksgiving. Pro. 6:31 tells us when you come back, there’s always a pay back (7-times).
3. Renews your Purpose and Calling. In Psa. 100:2-4, David once again tells us how to find a renewed spirit, “serve the Lord with gladness, seek His presence with song, enter His courts with praise and His gates with thanksgiving.” In Phil. 4:6-7, Paul adds to the renewing process telling us, “don’t be anxious about anything but in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made to God.” That’s how you find His peace and renewal. With a thankful heart it’s time we (Isa. 40:31) renew our strength and mount up with wings, run and not be weary and walk and not faint.
Question: What have your words said and your actions been as you’ve responded to the difficult and tough times your facing?
Key Thought: Notice how the word THANKFULNESS has in it the word FULNESS. Often when times of trouble come our way, we find ourselves feeling empty, lacking hope that something new and good will come our way. Let me suggest, maybe, just maybe, if we start thanking God (a content person) in spite of all the difficulty surrounding us and believe that all things will work together for good, that fullness will totally replace your emptiness.