The Lifestyle of Thanksgiving
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
8th -14th January, 2018
‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.'
Life can be challenging sometimes, but irrespective of challenging circumstances, having a thankful attitude is healthy, beneficial and honours the Lord. When we choose to look at life through the Cross and the finished work of Jesus, it becomes almost effortless to look beyond the boundaries of our physical limitations and live a lifestyle of thanksgiving. The attitude of thanksgiving is an attitude that embraces God’s all-sufficient grace in the face of life’s difficulties and challenges. When we maintain a thankful attitude, we are able to appreciate God for the things He has done that we have seen, and for those things that may not have manifested physically yet.
Psalm 34:1 reads, ‘I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth’. God is raising up a generation of worshippers who will be grateful in the midst of both good and unpleasant situations, and convenient and inconvenient moments of life. In many Biblical accounts, we see the children of Israel celebrating the goodness of the Lord to them and the fulfilment of prophecies. Psalm 126: 1- 2 records a song that the Israelites composed to thank the Lord for prophecy fulfilled, ‘when the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy’. Receive boldness from the Lord and make this declaration concerning yourself and your family: “My change has begun, and my hour of laughter and singing has arrived! My days of struggling are over, these are the days of great things, and I will testify of God’s glory!”
In Psalm 126, God’s counsel concerning the nation of Israel gave rise to three things: there was total restoration, a time of celebration and a season of experiencing uncommon blessings. These three things resulted in thanksgiving, and testified about God’s faithfulness to the surrounding pagan nations.
Be encouraged to take time to celebrate God’s faithfulness to your Church family, to your family, and to you as an individual. Be encouraged to cultivate an attitude of thankfulness. If you really take time to reflect on life, you will break forth into thanksgiving!
Here are some things to note:
(a) Thanksgiving honours God (Ephesians 5: 20)
(b) Thanksgiving triggers the demonstration of God’s power (Acts 16: 25-26)
(c) Thanksgiving is a weapon of warfare (Psalm 149:5-9)
(d) Thanksgiving is an act of true worship (Psalm 50:12-15)
(e) Thanksgiving brings you into a place of submission and dependence on God (Psalm 34: 1)
(f) Thanksgiving focuses your attention on God (Psalm 103: 1-5)
(g) Thanksgiving makes you joyful, and releases strength (Nehemiah 8: 10)
If you really take time to reflect on life, you will break forth into thanksgiving unto the Lord!
For further study:
Ephesians 5: 20, Nehemiah 8: 10
Acts 16: 25- 26, Psalm 149:5-9
Psalm 50:12-15, Psalm 34: 1
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I thank You for Your love for me, and for Your care over me. I am grateful for the way You preserved me and my family in 2017, and I am grateful for the numerous opportunities that You have laid in store for me in 2018. I ask for Your grace to help me keep my eyes on You and to remain thankful, knowing that You work all things together for my good, in Jesus’ Name, Amen!
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