For those of us that grew up in the 90’s, I’m sure we’ll all be familiar with one of the greatest gospel musicians the world has ever known; Don Moen. His songs are still evergreen so many years after. One of my favourites of his songs goes thus:
Give thanks, with a grateful heart
Give thanks, to the Holy one
Give thanks because He’s given, Jesus Christ His son
Last week we read about hope and the importance of been prisoners of hope in 2017. In this second week of 2017, it's time to give thanks. I remember those days as a young child, I doubt I ever saw any of my friends say thank you to their parents for making them eat something they didn’t like, in my case; fish. But when they brought home "Mr. Biggs" (still the best eatery in Nigeria by the way; don’t ask me why) or Gala (the most famous sausage roll in Nigeria) or Chupa Chups, we would be overflowing with thanks for the gifts. But God doesn’t want us to give thanks only when He gives us gifts but also when we’re going through situations that make it seem like the world is collapsing around us.
Why is it important to give thanks to God in all situations? 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us that it is the will of God. He wants us to thank Him even when we don’t feel like it. Are you going through a heartbreak? Thank Him! Are you going through a job loss? Thank Him! Are you going through a sickness like cancer? Thank Him! Why? Because it is the will of God for us to be thankful in every situation.
But as we all know, it isn’t exactly easy to say: "God I thank you" just after losing that pregnancy or after losing a job you’ve worked so hard to get and to maintain. So how then do we go about doing what the bible says is the will of God?
Practical Steps to Give Thanks
- Thank Him for the little things. Remember that time you woke up and your lungs filled with oxygen? No? For those of us in Nigeria or places similar, remember that time you walked into your house and turned the light switch and the light came on? No? Or that morning you woke and the beautiful rays of the Sun greeted you? These are little things that happen in our daily lives. Thank God for them! I remember once upon a time, I went to withdraw money at the ATM and suddenly as the cash came out of the machine I said: "Thank you God." Weird? If you haven’t had to chase a bank to refund your money or racing to the bank first thing in the morning so they don’t destroy the card, you won’t understand the stress levels. The point is this, thank God no matter how little the situation is.
- Thank Him in faith. Are you expecting a miracle or a door to open in your life? Thank Him! Why? Because you’re letting God know that you have absolute trust in His ability to deliver as He promised in Philippians 4:19; that verse says all your needs, keyword is all. Remember the incident of the five loaves of bread and two fishes?
Mark 6:41 (NIV): Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.
Jesus didn’t call down fire and brimstone. He didn’t summon the angels in the higher places. He simply said, father, thank you and that was it.
There’s a lot of power in giving thanks to God and do not let any situation stop you from giving thanks no matter how tough or discouraging it may be. The charge to each and everyone of us as we continue in 2017 is to give thanks with a grateful heart; start with the little things. Thank God for the gift of breath. When you see the Sun rise, thank God for the ability to see such a beautiful scene. Little by little, you will be able to cultivate the habit of giving thanks and before you know it, you’ll be thanking him for walking or like I do for withdrawal from the ATM.
Stay blessed and look out for our post next week from the wonderful Mysses Lafunky
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