Thanksgiving

For the last year I’ve been watching how a few of my heroes of the faith live their lives. Bill Johnson, John Crowder, Tim Wright, Georgian and Winnie Banov, and Jared Gustafson just to name a few… these guys are all connected by a single denominator: they live lives of praise and thanksgiving each day.

Positive

Something I’ve noticed about people who seem to walk in divine favor and are extremely happy and satisfied are those who are always positive. These are people who always have something good to say even when the critics, teeth sharp like sharks, are foaming at the mouth. These people can only see the glass half full. They can only see the light at the end of the tunnel. They can only see the positive direction things are going!

But this is something more than just a positive attitude. Remember those posters in school your teacher had hung up over the board? They didn’t help much, but they were cute!kitten-poster

This is attitude with some whack on it!

Everyone I know who walks in favor and ease are people who have embraced the Song Lifestyle — people who are in love with Jesus and walk in easy restful relationship with him!

Psalm 100:4-5 encourages us to “Go through his open gates with great thanksgiving; enter his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name.”

Jeremiah 30:18-20 tells about how God will restore the fortunes and tents of Jacob and how the people will respond: “Out of them shall come thanksgiving, and the sound of merrymakers.”

And God gives them a promise! “I will make them many, and they shall not be few; I will make them honored, and they shall not be disdained.”

Song People have positive attitudes because they are consumed by God’s grace. They are absolutely convinced that they are going to thrive, have absolute favor, and will only see good things happen to them because they walk with Jesus.

We clearly see in scripture that good things happen to those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28).

Personal Story

Over the last year I’ve experimented with scripture. Instead of freaking out at everything that went wrong, I instead made it a point to praise and give thanks. I didn’t always remember. I forgot a few times who I was and what power I had in thanksgiving, but overall I was able to turn every circumstance into a reason for thanksgiving. I was able to cast aside anxiety and fear and challenges and praise God because he’s worth it.

And stuff started happening!

Spending so much time thanking God for being so good and for trusting him for taking good care of me really paid off. We ended up moving into a house big enough for our large family in a beautiful rural area we were desiring. I had gotten laid off work and God provided another job quickly. We had hope where we hadn’t had hope before! God was building history with us!  That increased our faith for when other challenges comes along–then we’ll be able to look back and remember what God did before. What God did before, he’ll do again. What he did before, he’ll even OUTDO himself.

Hope

Thanksgiving and praise produces hope. And hope is nothing to take lightly! Hope does not put us to shame. We have been saturated in God’s love by Holy Spirit! That’s HUGE! Hope will take an average day and turn it around to an extraordinary one! Hope tells us that there’s something better…there’s SOMEONE better and that we have an all access pass to him.

We get to nuzzle up with our blessed bridegroom and snuggle close. Jesus our faithful Mr. Happy scoots closer and closer until he’s right center on the inside of us. He’s closer than a brother; he’s our mystical Mr. Mystery who’s head over heels in love with us!

So if things go wrong and the future looks bleak just praise! Don’t ignore the problem and hope it all goes away. But thank God for how good he is. Thank God for how he’s going to give you solutions. Thank him for EVERYTHING. Praise him! You’ll soon see that life begins turning around and you’ll find you have the power within you to calm storms and change the atmosphere.

 

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