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Joyfully Giving Thanks

Joyfully Giving Thanks

Words of Faith 9-30-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Colossians 1

     [9] For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.  [10] And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, [11] being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully [12] giving thanks to the Father…

 

      Can you imagine being prayed for in such power?  As the pastor and the Apostle knelt on the prison floor to pray for the believers in Colosse their hope was that they might walk in strength and endurance joyfully, while giving thanks to the Father.

     The product of this informed and energized journey with God is that we walk with endurance through very difficult times and that we do so with joy and thanksgiving.  It is often observed that the real measure of our walk with God is not when things are going great, and the blessings abound, it is in the joy and thanksgiving we exude when we are going through the most difficult of times.

     In the life of a believer, "giving thanks" is not a repetitive prayer that we say at mealtimes.  Thanksgiving is not primarily a holiday focused on overeating, football and Christmas sales.  For the believer whose eyes are open to what God is doing, giving thanks is a life of gratitude toward the Father.  Thanksgiving is a life posture in which we recognize on a daily moment-to-moment basis how much our Father loves us and has provided for us.

      Paul taught that we are to always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:20).  Yet we are often prone to say-- "I have so many blessings, I cannot even begin to count them…"  I sometimes wonder if the Lord might reply, "Well… give it a shot.  I'll tell you when to stop."

     Joy is a key component in this "life posture" of thanksgiving.  Joy is that fruit of the spirit that comes out when we are in the press.  The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).  It is not a strength we muster up or an act we put on.  Joy is the inner celebration that comes from rock-solid assurance that God is our source.  God is the power but the joy He gives us is the muscle that moves us through the tough stuff.  That joy can only come from personal and direct knowledge of God.

      So how is your attitude of gratitude?  It occurred to me once that I don't have to "feel" exceedingly thankful in order to give thanks.  Giving thanks to the Father is a discipline much like many other things that we do if we feel like it or not. We lift the sacrifice of praise when we do not feel like it. We love our neighbor, whether we feel like it or not. Thanksgiving is no different.

      The Psalmist asked himself this question-- actually speaking to his soul:  "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior, and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore, I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon--from Mount Mizar (42:5-6).  The Psalmist directed his soul to put hope in God, praise the Savior, and remember the character and acts of God.

      In the very next verse, the Psalmist says: Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me (42:7).  If you want to go deep with God, lift your thanksgiving to Him with joy… whether you feel like it or not.  Tell your soul to be thankful and start giving thanks.  Just the act of recounting His blessings is often exactly what we need in order sense the lifting of any heaviness.

      So maybe you don't have the attitude of gratitude.  Practice thanksgiving with joy.  The rest will come.

 

      Father God, I pause to thank You.  Let me list and recount my blessings and favor of Your hand with joy. In Jesus' Name.  

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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