Did you know you have a supernatural tool at your disposal that can change the course of your day and even your life?
That tool is simply being thankful. But wait! Don’t brush it aside too quickly. We often think of thanksgiving as something optional for when things are going great. Yet it’s so much more. Having an “attitude of gratitude” is important, yet there is a whole other layer to this business of thanksgiving that can have powerful results.
It’s referred to in the Bible as “rejoicing in the Lord.” It’s not just “being positive” or grateful in the moment. It is a true joyfulness that bubbles up from a deep place of confidence far beyond ourselves. It doesn’t spring from a sunny day or a great bargain or a raise at work. Those things help make us happy. Yet true joyfulness, even in spite of circumstances, springs from knowing and believing who God really is.
When discouragement pops up, or when we notice any traces of darkness stealing our calm and confidence, we can take action and refocus our thoughts. When we turn our thoughts intentionally toward God we are reminded that he is right here, right now. Though there are many names of God we could list that describe his nature and character, this one verse captures the four characteristics of his name that can encompass every need you or I will ever have.
“And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
When you feel darkness of any kind creeping in, turn your focus off the need and onto God Almighty.
- When you need wisdom, run to him and thank him that he is your Counsellor. Ask for direction and wisdom to discern what is best.
- When you need a miracle, thank him that he is your Mighty God. Ask him to show you himself right in the middle of your challenge.
- When you need a Father to comfort and protect you, thank him that he loves you and is there to hold and help you. Earthly fathers often let us down but our Heavenly Father will always be there. Ask for his protection and his loving care.
- When anxiety floods your heart and mind, find a quiet spot and pour out all your worries to God. Thank Him that he is the Prince of Peace. Ask for that supernatural peace that only he can give. He promises to give peace that surpasses our understanding as we walk calmly rejoicing in who he is for us.
As believers in Jesus, we have been set free from darkness of all kinds. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Yet it can be easy to let God become distant and irrelevant as we slip into anxious fretting. These four truths of his character are so very relevant to how we can walk free and happy!
But there’s still more.
Offering thanks to God for who he is to us (especially when giving thanks seems like a sacrifice and we can’t see the steps ahead) actually prepares the way in the spiritual realm for God to bring his solutions.
A rejoicing, thankful heart actually opens doors for God to work. Listen to his promise:
Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation” (Psalm 50:23).
That is the supernatural tool of thanksgiving! In the middle of our days and situations, when we offer thanks to God for who he is, we honor him. When our hearts lean towards him expectantly, he goes to work on our behalf. To be blameless doesn’t mean we always get things right. It simply means we keep a right heart towards God, which opens the door for him to fill us. Keep your focus not on what swirls around you, but on who God is. Then, rejoice in that! It will change your focus, it will change your attitude, it will invite God to work on your behalf.
Father God, thank you that my thank offerings can actually prepare the way for you to work. There is so much about you that I want to learn. Thank you that you are my Shepherd who will guide me. You are my strong tower where I can find protection. You are the one who can break through impossible places and do the impossible.
Lord, please help me grow in offering thanks to you for who you are, especially when it is a sacrifice. I trust you today with all my heart. May I not lean on what I think is best but simply look to you to direct my path this day. Thank you that You hear my prayer and know my concerns. Thank you for who you are! I rejoice in you as I walk in the freedom from darkness that you have secured for me. In the strong name of Jesus I pray, amen.