Here we are once again, at the precipice of the Holiday season, with our tables garnished with turkey, dressing, and cranberry sauce. As we prepare to step across the threshold of a rapidly approaching new year, our feet often traverse the well-beaten path of reflection and self-evaluation.
This year, my wife and I were blessed to visit my home in Birmingham, AL, to spend the Thanksgiving Holidays with my immediate family and friends. I grew more excited, as the departure time approached, at the thought of seeing all those that I love and cherish. Gratitude filled my heart as my wife and I packed the car to head south for the Holidays. In that moment, I discovered the true power and purpose of giving thanks to God in every season of our lives. Thanksgiving is more than just a day on our calendars reserved for filling our stomachs; rather, it is a lifestyle that releases the power of God in our lives in three profound ways.
Thanksgiving Escorts Us into God’s Presence
Psalm 100 is one of many passages illustrating God as our shepherd. Within God’s sheepfold we have abundant supply and pasture. We have boldness to enter into the door of the sheepfold (Jesus Christ-John 10:9) to access unlimited supplies of everything we need in God’s holy presence. No necessity is withheld from us when we approach the Father with thanksgiving and praise.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Psalm 100:4, KJV)
The Message Bible further expounds on this idea of entering through the door of the sheepfold via intimate relationship with Christ:
Enter with the password: “Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank him. Worship him. (Psalm 100:4, The Message Bible)
When we approach the gates of God’s holy court with gratitude in our hearts wielding the password of “thank you” upon our lips, we unlock the very resources of God’s endless supply.
Thanksgiving Releases God’s Peace
This may be contrary to everything you’ve ever heard, but when things seem to be falling apart around you, giving thanks releases the peace of God right in the middle of it all. When we pray we are instructed to arm ourselves with thanksgiving.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6, KJV)
Thanksgiving is a powerful resource when coupled with the confident knowledge that the Father loves us and wants to care for us. As we articulate our requests to the Father, they should always be bathed in thanksgiving, knowing that it pleases God to give us our hearts desires when they align with God’s will. The end result will be the overwhelming peace of God that protects our vital faculties of heart and mind.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, KJV)
Thanksgiving Magnifies God
I am a firm believer in the effects of perspective. Life can sometimes deliver some serious blows that disorient us causing us to see things that aren’t really there. Skirmishes with illness, lack, and turmoil leave us with the perception that there is nothing to be grateful for. These temporary “lights out” experiences can run deep through the core of our being as we struggle to regain some semblance of consciousness. Things that are normally clear to us turn hazy and blurry, making it difficult to reach our goals.
Expressing gratefulness to God shifts our perspective, and clears our vision so that we can stay in the fight. Giving thanks magnifies God and brings into focus the “bigness” of our Father. God is bigger, stronger and wiser than any enemy we fight, including the most formidable enemy of all…ourselves. David says it better than I ever could, so I’ll employ a Psalm of his:
I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God. (Psalm 69:30-32, KJV)
Whenever we take our eyes off of what is good in our lives, and focus on the bad and the ugly, our victory hangs in the balance. Use the power of thanksgiving to shrink your problems and bring them down to size. You will find without a doubt that they are no match for the matchless King of Glory.
During this holiday season, let us resolve to carry the torch of thanksgiving into daily living, thereby bringing light into even the most obscure places of our lives. May the incense of gratitude unfurl within our hearts each morning, and burn well into the night; yielding the sweet-smelling aroma of peace, power, and proper perspective: thus glorifying God.
Happy Thanksgiving 2014!!!
As always, thank you for visiting Wisdom’s Quill. See you soon.
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Editor: Jaime Evans