My life alongside God's word, volume 3. 'Everybody living happily together' section.
– by Simon Kuengbuny Pal
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his court with praise, give thanks to him and praise his name”, Psalm 100:4.
We are taught from God’s word to enter His gates with thanksgiving, that is a thanks offering, in our hearts and to enter His court, that is His special presence, with praises. (See Leviticus 7:11-15; 2Chronicles 29:31, 31:2, 33:16). However, the verse above in Psalm 100 opens up our eyes in a bigger way regarding the power of these thanksgiving and praises. Indeed, it is through your thanksgiving and your
praises that the gateways are opened so that God will come to you, or shall we say, to us.
There is something about thanksgiving that is fragrant. Thanksgiving is an aroma that draws God’s attention to us in an irresistible way. I am challenging and inviting you to set
aside a nice and a quiet chunk of your time to lift up to God everything you are grateful for. Lavishly and extravagantly thank our heavenly Father for these things. I found this
spiritual exercise was so powerful and therapeutic for me. The Lord encourages us to give sacrifices in the form of praises as it is clear from another Psalm that says, “He who
sacrifices thank offerings honours me, and he prepares the way, so that I may show him the salvation of God”, Psalm 50:23.
The following five categories are ways you can show your gratitude to our Father in heaven:
1. Give thanksgiving to God for our preservation
When we look around us in our villages, and our counties, and even the world at large, we see and hear much sad news. We see heart-breaking events and many destructive
incidents. We need to give thanksgiving to God for how He has preserved our families and us in such a special way. We are no better than those who have fallen victims to the
events. Only His preserving mercies have covered us and protected us from being part of those incidents and casualty statistics.
We have an example from the Bible about the power of praises and thanksgiving, which protected the Israelites from being overcome by their enemies when they were marching
around Jericho’s walls. On the last day they were going around the city and singing praises to God, Joshua 6:1-21. The result was victory and God preserved them from their enemies. Like them, we must do what God tells us.
2. Give thanksgiving for His provision to us
Provision of our needs, wants and likes are the things that we always rehearse in our daily prayers and talking. In our Lord’s prayer we have asked God to give us our daily bread, Matthew 6:9-13, especially verse 11. Daily bread is one of the
things that our God provides, but He also gives us health, friends, families and other blessings, including some things that we have not asked for. God provides our needs because He cares for us. So we need to thank Him for both what and how He has provided for us. We ought not to take God’s abundant provision for granted. Thanksgiving is a duty of the believer. It has to be one word often and sincerely used in our vocabularies. Once it is meaningfully done it becomes like an aroma that perfumes the rooms or the dresses. It attracts God’s presence to us. It somehow makes God closer and happier. We give Him something He really wants.
3. Give thanksgiving for His purpose for us
Each one in the world, every person – man, woman or child – the God of creation has brought him or her into this universe with a purpose. No one has ever come to this world
accidentally. God has a purpose for you and for me. He has purpose for your life. He purposes to make us prosper2 and to make us great and to build us to His likeness, if we dearly and closely follow Him and put Him in our hearts as our Saviour, Creator and Master. We need to give God thanksgiving for all of the ways He has encircled our lives
with His purpose.
4. Give thanksgiving for His presence with us
God’s presence is felt on many occasions by His dependability, especially in the times of chaos and difficulties. We can always rely on Him. Whenever you are faced by hardships and you are saved or delivered from them, you may say together with Psalmist that, “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever”, Psalm 30:11-12. You must thank God for His very presence in everything and at all times and on every occasion.
5. Give thanksgiving for our prayers and His listening
Whenever a person prays among us, we expect some answers from God. In most cases we expect an immediate answer, because of the urgency of the situation we are in, or
the urgency of what we need. Here, thanksgiving to God and an attitude of thankfulness are very necessary for each one of us. God is happy when we thank Him for what He gave us after our prayers, as an answer for what we have requested from Him. Thank God for all the answered prayers, even when the answer is not exactly what we would have chosen for ourselves. “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Thank God for His mercies in answering the prayers. Thanksgiving is the continuous and permanent key
for future answers whenever we pray. Thanksgiving for answered prayers is our declaration of God’s sovereignty, our recognition of His strength, His ability and willingness to hear us, and to communicate with us whenever we need Him. He is there to listen in our mundane, everyday living. He is also there to listen in our times of crisis. There is in fact never a time we do not need Him!
Remember to be lavish and make time for thanksgiving and praises to God. You are going to find that, this not only grants you a breakthrough for things you are looking for on the
horizon, but you will find a transfer or shift that actually happens within yourself. I want to assure you that it is an amazing thing. Just go ahead and do it! Do not forget to give
thanksgiving to God for all the privileges He has given you in your life. Thank Jesus for His love. Thank Him for your life, your family, your job, your fellowship and your friends.
Thank Him for Himself, His preservation of you, His provision for you, His purpose for you, His presence with you, and His answering of your prayers.
“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LordI, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night”, Psalm 92:1-2 (KJV), (italics mine).
“It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night”, Psalm 92:1-2 (NIV).