Give Thanks Until You Become Thanks

image

I love Graham Cooke’s teachings! He made this statement today in a podcast (see http://www.brilliantperspectives.com): Give thanks until you become thanks!

I read it and wondered, “how on earth do you become thanks?” I listened to a short audio he had available on this subject. By the time I got to the end of this short explanation, the anxiety I’d been feeling was already shifting.

I’m not sure what’s been happening lately in my life but anxiety has been following me around. I do fine for some days. But there are those other days. Anxious. Worried. Fretful. What on earth Lord?

I love that Cooke says that the Lord always gives you an upgrade. He’s not into shifting you downward. Ever. No, our Lord is all about us advancing, making our way from glory to glory.

Webster’s dictionary defines glory as: Brightness; luster; splendor; magnificence; Praise ascribed in adoration; honor; praise; fame; renown; celebrity; The felicity of heaven prepared for the children of God; celestial bliss.

I see nothing there that speaks of darkness or sadness or demotions! No, our God, our Father in heaven is for us and, by His own Word, He is better than any earthly father in that He loves us and He loves to give us good gifts.

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:9-13 (ESV)

It doesn’t matter that perhaps your own experience with your earthly father was anything but positive. This God of ours, this God who proclaims He is our Father, that He adopted us, grafted us onto His vine of life, is all about us advancing into the more of all He is. He seated us in heavenly places, next to His Son, Jesus Christ. That’s no small statement. If I’m seated in heavenly places with Jesus, my Savior, then that somehow, miraculously, positions me there, with Jesus and my Father, God. And if I’m there, then this that I’m feeling must shift to His will!

Anxiety, go! Frustration, worry, fretting, go! You have no right here, messing with me! I’m with my Father, my Savior and Holy Spirit. Thank you God! Thank you that you have made a way of provision, a way of escape to any and all of my challenges. How do I know that? His Word…

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

So, what is the way of escape today Lord? Praise and thanksgiving! As Graham Cooke said, “give thanks until you become thanks. Speak it out loud. Speak it back to God; He loves to hear His Word spoken back to Him.”  Graham said one more thing that caught my attention. He said, “giving thanks is an act of your will, not of your emotions.” When I choose to worship Him and give thanks for all He’s done for me, I bring myself into alignment with His nature, for He is worship, He is thanksgiving. Aligning. Right. There.

OK Lord, I’m doing it. I’m exercising my will and I’m deciding to give thanks…out loud.

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 1 Chronicles 16:8 (ESV)

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!1 Chronicles 16:34 (ESV)

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Psalm 7:17 (ESV)

 I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 (ESV)

 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7 (ESV)

 Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Psalm 33:2 (ESV)

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. Psalm 86:12 (ESV)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4 (ESV)

 Because,

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

 Continue here, giving Him thanks for all He’s done in your life. Name as many things as you can think of. Name them all…

Are you getting it? Are you becoming thankful? I am. I want to be a thank you to my Father in heaven. I want to be known as His kid who thanks Him for all He has done in me, through me, and for me. Give thanks until you become thanks! I will Lord, and I am. Thankful. For all You do, for who You are, for loving me as You always do, regardless of my performance or my shortcomings or yes, even my anxiety. Oh God, I love you!

I invite you to share your thoughts on thanksgiving, on being thanks. I pray this has helped you today…

Advertisements

Be Careful Who (or What) You Worship

image

It’s been one of those days.  I had a plan.  It was a pretty straight lineup of things.  Tonight as I look back over the day, the path, instead of a straight line, took on the look of a crazy squiggly line, up, down, around, and around, up and over and back again.

Once again I am with my elderly parents, 500 miles from home.  My Mom had a heart attack a week ago.  She’s home again thankfully after six days in the hospital.  God has been so faithful in healing her, in holding my Dad in His palm, and in lifting me up by the prayers of the saints back home in my church.  It’s been a difficult week but we’ve made it.

This morning we ended up back in the emergency room.  Mom wasn’t sure about sensations on her right side and we had to make sure we weren’t dealing with a clot.  After four hours, numerous blood tests and a EKG she was released home: all was fine.

Well, you know or can imagine, I’m sure, what this morning might have felt like for my Mom, Dad and me.  All my plans for the day went flying out the window as fear attempted to rush right into each of our minds.

Being in a different town, away from my husband, home, and my church family leaves me in a sometimes precarious place.  More than once this week I’ve had to face issues I’ve never dealt with before.  In spite of moments when everything in me wanted to either panic or cry uncontrollably, I got through.  Wait.  Correction.  In spite of those moments GOD strengthened and brought me through!

Tonight I decided to attend a prayer and worship time at a church we attend when we are in town at my parents’.  I attended last Sunday when they announced this special time but evidently I got the time wrong – I arrived an hour early!  Sigh.

I sat down to listen to the worship team practice and decided to take a look at my devotional today, the one I missed due to rushing off to the emergency room right after breakfast.  I was met with this verse:

“Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!  There is no want for those who fear Him.” Psa. 34:9

Tonite I’m realizing that fear has been trying oh so hard to throw me off track.  Every day for the past eight days I’ve been confronted, in one way or another, by fear.  So many questions and doubts, all laid into my Lord’s lap because I don’t know where all this is going for my Mom.

No, I must wait for each day to unfold as it will.  And here is where I must choose.  Will I fall into fear’s waiting arms?  No, not this time satan!  I know where that path leads – more fear and torment.

Instead I’m choosing to fear God.  I know He’s not happy when I succumb to the enemy’s ploys.  Why?  Because He has provision for me, no matter what I face.  Tonight I’m choosing to fear my God, as one of His beloved children.  And what does the Word say about that?  Back to Psalm 34, where David tells us that there will be no want for those who fear the Lord.

That’s all I need tonite.  I’m not going to be tripped up by fear!  Instead, I’m here with fellow saints, getting ready to worship our God.  His provision is here tonite, just as it has been all week long!  Accept my offering Lord, of my love to you as I lift my voice in worship to You!

Oh, it’s so good to be in the house of the Lord!  And it is here I’m provided for in whatever comes my way.