Today I will finish the review of reasons for being grateful.
5. Gratitude is powerful and liberating. The Bible gives us several accounts of God’s miraculous power being released to bring deliverance and victory for His people…as they praised and thanked Him!
King Jehoshaphat was up against the armies of at least three nations all at the same time. He was desperate and understandably afraid. So He prayed. And the Lord answered. God said, “The battle is Mine, not yours. I’ll do the fighting for you.” Then God instructed the king to place the singers out in front of the army. The army of Israel was led into battle with praise and thanksgiving. When they arrived on the battleground, the enemy was already slaughtered. Confusion had come upon them and they had destroyed each other!
It then took three days for the Israelites to carry away all of the spoils of victory! Such are the benefits of praise and thanksgiving. The spoils are great!
On another occasion, Paul and Silas (traveling preachers), had been beaten badly for preaching the gospel and had landed in jail, where they were in chains. The Bible says that at about midnight they were singing hymns of praise and thanking God….and suddenly there was an earthquake and everybody’s chains got broken off! The jailer got saved and probably all the other prisoners as well.
Gratitude first changes the atmosphere of your own heart and thoughts. Then when vocalized in praise to God, it has the power to change the atmosphere outwardly too. Demons can’t bear the heartfelt and vocalized praises of Jesus. They get fearful and confused. Literally.
Praise and thanksgiving will accomplish what armies cannot do.
Praise and thanksgiving will accomplish what no medication can do.
6. Gratitude must be taught. Let’s be real here. None of us was born with a deeply grateful heart. We all came out of the womb fussing. Little people take everything for granted…unless they are taught otherwise. And without the influence and power of God’s Spirit working on us, we’d all remain self-righteous, ungrateful snobs.
Gratitude does not happen by osmosis. You can’t take a pill, go to sleep, and wake up in the morning a totally grateful person. It takes time to renew your mind. We must recognize the spirit of ingratitude, complaining, and entitlement that pervades our society and to some degree our own inner world. These thoughts must be arrested and denounced! And then replaced by intentional thanksgiving and praise.
It takes time to turn a big ship around. But it all starts with turning the rudder. Keep thanksgiving on your lips and you will be a long way down the road to spiritual maturity and blessing! God will be honored. And there will be spoils to gather for yourself as well!