The Power of Giving Thanks: Part 2
In part 1 we began our discussion of the power of giving thanks, and today we're going to pick right back up where we left off. We had just gone through an excerpt from The Hiding Place in which Corrie Ten Boom described her and her sister Betsie's experience in a Nazi concentration camp barracks that happened to be swarming with fleas - and how God used the situation (and the fleas) to reach many women for Him!
Needless to say, I knew it wasn’t a coincidence that I listened to this book when I did, as I was dealing with fleas in my own life at that moment, in a much lesser degree of hardship. So I began to thank God even more. I began to thank him for the work this move was doing inside of us and thank him for the work it would do through us. I began to thank him that it was teaching us to trust and endure. And I began to thank him for the good things that were happening right alongside the hard things.
At the same time we were experiencing injuries, sickness, and death with the cattle, we were also experiencing healing, miracles, and birth. So I would thank God for those things.
At the same time we were dealing with flooding and drought, we were also learning to trust God’s sovereignty. So I would thank him for it.
At the same time we were experiencing tragedies, accidents, and health challenges, we were also experiencing miracles, provision, and peace that surpasses understanding. So I would thank him for those things.
At the same time my kids were walking through the emotions of starting new, they were also learning to lean on God. At the same time they were watching my husband and I navigate hardship, they were also learning what it looked like to trust God. At the same time they saw my husband and I mess up and have to ask forgiveness when our flesh won out over our spirit, they were also learning the humility of introspect and repentance. At the same time my kids were put in situations bigger than themselves, they were also experiencing God show up in personal, miraculous ways which would solidify their foundations of faith. So I would thank God for those things.
And at the same time we were dealing with backed up septic tanks, power outages, loss of water, mice, fleas, and smells, I was learning that my life is not about me. I was learning that living a comfortable life isn’t the goal of life. So I began to thank God for those things.
I’m using past tense here, but these are still the things I’m learning to practice. Just since I’ve started writing this blog post, there have been more “disasters” and accidents (yes, both plural), and there have been more miracles and peace that surpasses understanding. So basically, there have been more opportunities to practice what I’m preaching.
You see, thanksgiving and praise aren’t only offered out of our emotions. Sometimes they are, but not always. Sometimes they’re offered out of our will, out of our obedience. However, praise and thanksgiving always affect our emotions.
That’s the power of it!
Prayer, praise, and thanksgiving are where Heaven meets earth. Psalm 95:2 and Psalm 100:4 say we enter into God’s presence with thanksgiving and praise. When we thank and praise God, we enter into his presence, and we can more easily perceive his presence. Praise and thanksgiving redirect our focal point, increase our faith, restore our joy, and renew our peace.