Today my wife and I began our day with a devotion about thankfulness. I thought this was a fitting devotion because last night I had spent some time in prayer with a friend, and as I interceded for him my prayer sort of transformed into a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for all that the Lord was doing in mine and my friends lives. For me, a time of prayerful intercession became a time of worship.
My wife and I talked about the devotion for a little while and both agreed that thanksgiving is a form a worship and that we would like to increase this in our lives as a manner of worship to the giver off all good things, that is, Jesus Christ. We prayed for patience and thankful hearts, and began to go about the business of the day.
I feel like GOD never makes me wait to long for a chance to prove the strength of my convictions when I ask him to work in me. I got the chance right away this morning. I left for my commute to school and found that I began to hit every single stoplight as it was turning red. Choice: impatience or thanksgiving. I made the choice of thanksgiving. I took the brief pauses in my commute to look at the sky, which was simply awe-inspiring this morning.
At about the halfway mark of my commute I was given another choice. I came upon a blocked road (construction), and better yet, there was no detour. I had also left my GPS at home. Choice: anger and worry, or Thanksgiving. I again made the choice to let my heart be filled with thanksgiving instead of the worries and attitudes that are so prevalent to my sin nature. (THANKS BE TO GOD! A few years ago this would have resulted in a childish fit on my part.)
I decided that I would take my chances trying an alternate route and prayed that the Lord would help me find my way to the school, since I have not previously taken this route. As it turns out I found a new route that cuts nearly ten minutes out of my commute. Praise be to the giver of all good things!
Even the radio DJ (Q99.7–our local Christian station) shared how she was focused on thanksgiving yesterday. She said that she walked into a Starbucks and the barista greeted her and point blank (and somewhat randomly) asked her what she had to be thankful for. I share these stories with you to make the simple point that a spirit of thanksgiving is important and can bring you closer to GOD.
There are so many scriptures concerning thanksgiving in the scriptures. Here are just a few to think about:
Psalms 69:30 I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. NIV
Psalms 95:2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. NIV
Psalms 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. NIV
Psalms 147:7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. NIV
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. NIV
1 Timothy 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– NIV
(Yeah, it’s a little heavy on the “give thanks with song” aspect, but I’m a worship leader at heart; what do you expect? 😉 )
Here is my challenge to you: For the next seven days, join me in picking two things that you are thankful for, sharing them with other people, and giving thanks to GOD for those two blessings. It’s very tempting and easy to voice what is going wrong with our day, but let’s begin to cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving a praise.
It would bless me if you would come back each day to this blog entry and leave a comment in the comment section about what you are thankful for.
GOD bless you, and have a great week.